“While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are looking for you. But get up, go downstairs and accompany them without misgivings, for I have sent them Myself.’ … The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings” (Acts 10:19-20; 11:12).
I remember as a new believer wondering if I had been deemed worthy enough to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Because of my personal struggles, I had assumed there was more I needed to do before I could receive the Spirit: special prayers I needed to pray, personal changes I needed to make. Luke’s description of the Holy Spirit in Acts 10-11, however, gives us an entirely different perspective.
It was the Spirit of God who urges Peter to go to Caesarea without misgivings or delay.
It was the Holy Spirit who cuts Peter off mid-sermon to fall upon the Gentiles (Acts 10:44; 11:15). While it would be inappropriate to describe the Holy Spirit as impatient, in this narrative Luke describes the Spirit as someone who can no longer contain his excitement to make someone God’s brand new child. While we have a tendency to conceive of Holy Spirit as a building inspector searching for every possible flaw, Luke’s narrative reminds us that he is the Spirit of Adoption who graciously and excitedly desires to grow God’s spiritual family!
“For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Rom 8:15).