Acts 11:4-10 (NLT)
4 Then Peter told them exactly what had happened. 5 “I was in the town of Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me. 6 When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of small animals, wild animals, reptiles, and birds. 7 And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’ 8 “‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean.’ 9 “But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’ 10 This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back up to heaven.
These verses recount a vision Peter had from God. As he was praying he saw a blanket let down from the sky and on it were all types of animals, reptiles and birds that would have been considered unclean by Jewish standards. God told Peter to go take from the animals, kill and eat. Peter refused saying he had always followed Jewish law and had never partaken of something considered unclean. But a voice from heaven said, “Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.”
What we believe is right versus what is right according to God are two different things. In the verses above Peter believed he knew the correct answer when he heard the voice tell him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.” Peter had followed Jewish tradition all of his life eating only food that was considered to be kosher and now he was being told to do something totally contrary to his belief. He even protested to God and said, “NO, LORD” it wasn’t something he wanted to do. Peter was acting according to his previous beliefs, but God had revealed something new to Peter. He was letting him know we must act according to Christ working in us and not be so wedded to our own opinions that we prejudice ourselves against what God has revealed to us. God spoke to Peter 3 times to convince him it was ok to eat that which was laid out for him. It also meant Peter was to go to others who were different, such as the Gentiles to spread the message of the gospel. The sheet with all the animals was even pulled back up to heaven as a sign that what was there was acceptable before God. We need to take the time to listen to God and not ourselves. We need to hear what God is telling us and be open enough to let it into our hearts. Pray God will speak to you about your life and allow Christ to work in you.