Alex Enabnit – Research Editor
Today we had the opportunity to host Danielle Strickland, an Officer in the Salvation Army, for our Summit weekend. She spoke at the Global Leadership Summit last year and it was quite a privilege to have her at Central!
Danielle began her sermon by explaining that being “born again,” a phrase popular for describing becoming a Christian, to a snake shedding its skin. Following Jesus could be thought of as a one-time decision, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. But Danielle argued it’s actually a decision that we are called to continually make throughout our lives, just like a snake continually sheds its skin.
Using Acts 10, Danielle walked us through a vision of Peter’s. In the vision, God reveals a huge assortment of “unclean” animals to Peter and tells him to kill and eat them. Peter refuses, as he has never eaten anything unclean, like a good and devout Jew. But God makes it clear that he declares these clean. This vision repeats two more times, and Peter is left confused.
Later, Peter is taken to a centurion’s house where he realizes that the dream represented God’s plan for the good news of Jesus – that it wasn’t just for the Jews but for the Gentiles as well. Peter’s eyes were opened! He “shed his skin.”
How do we continue to be born again – how to we keep shedding our skin?
1st: We experience a God encounter – this is necessary because God is always so far beyond whatever we could imagine. It’s hard to shed our skin by ourselves, we need God to lead us and show us what to do. But how is this done? Danielle explained that all we need to do is create time and space for God in our lives.
2nd: Normally we are left confused and disturbed, just like Peter in Acts 10:17. It doesn’t necessarily make sense, but the direction is clear.
3rd: We follow in faith, even when we don’t have all the answers. Of course this is difficult! The typical response is, “Once I get it, then I’ll go!” But in scripture, most of the time they GO and THEN they get it.
Are you continually shedding your skin, continuing to be born again? Is God calling you to something right now? And will you do it, even if you don’t have the full picture yet?
Only King Forever – Elevation Worship
Cornerstone – Hillsong Music
Psalm 23 – Central Music