Peter and Cornelius
“And the following day they (Peter and the Cornelius’ men) entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends. As Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man.”
Cornelius was a centurion, a military officer (probably in the rank of a Captain or Major in an Army). He was a devout man. A generous man. A man of prayer. He feared God and taught his family the same.
God had showed him the vision to send for Apostle Peter to come and pray and preach the salvation to him and his household. You might even say for him to receive the Holy Ghost.
Cornelius genuinely sought God all days. And the Lord saw his heart and asked him to send for Peter. As Peter approached him, he fell down at his feet and worshiped him. Like anyone of us will do – not out of eye service but because we marvel at the calling of God upon the lives of men and women of God; upon the pastors, prophets, bishops, deacons, deaconesses, evangelists name it.
Here was Cornelius bowing at Peter’s feet in worship. The Apostle Peter – one of the men that saw Jesus and His mighty manifestation. Peter that walked on water. Peter that saw the mighty miracles of Jesus. Peter that walked with Jesus. Peter that was made the head of the church by Jesus.
What did Peter do at this situation with Cornelius? He rejected the worship by saying, “Stand up; I myself am also a man”. This is humility.
John the beloved and the Angel
Similar incidence happened when John the beloved saw all the mighty revelations showed him by an angel(s) in long hours of vision. He was dazed and awed. And he probably didn’t know when he bowed to worship the angel. He said in Revelations 19:10, “I fell at his (angel’s) feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
The angel rejected the worship like Peter. Maybe even smart to charge John to worship God. In these two examples you can see man bowing to worship man, and man bowing to worship the holy angel because of the perceived grace, revelation and anointing upon them.
The Questions Are:
The Lord is asking you, “Are you taking the worship of men because of my anointing and grace upon your life? Do you stand and see men bow to you and you savour it?”
Do you feel offended when they do not call you in a special way or make obeisance in a particular way?
Do you cringe and ignore them when they do not call you by the title of your calling? Do you feel insulted when they mistakenly call you brother so-and-so or sister so-and-so? Let’s check our hearts.
When we start cringing at the non-commissioned titles that new converts or non-ordained brother or sister or that fellow call us, we need to check our heart. Pride is subtle and is the only trigger that makes Jehovah God to resist us.
You cannot take God’s glory and live. Desist from it. In Acts 12: 21 – 23, King Herod in the New Testament met a mysterious death when he savoured the glory of God:
“So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.”
God can choose any means to punish us for this. Let’s not allow our heart to swell up in pride unknowingly to us. The Word of God in 1 Corinthians 4:7 says:
“For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
This rebuke was for the early Corinthian church that had the heavy manifestation of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit; the church that manifested the ministry gifts of apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher, evangelist. It was in this church that Apostle Paul rose to chastise them to be humble and loving, rather than being greedy and puffed up in the anointing and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
If they made that mistake, it would occur in this present time. Let us “therefore humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt us in due time”
(1 Peter 5:6).
In James 4:6, the Word of God says, “The Lord resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.” For us with ministry gifts or operational gifts, let us be mindful of the humility of God. Let’s not take the place of God in the lives of God’s people. Let us point them to God. He is the One that says “He is seeking those that will worship Him in truth and spirit”. Do not take the worship of God. Do not cover them from seeing God. Point them to God.
“Humble yourself under My Mighty Hands that I may exalt you, says the Lord. Humble your ways! Exalt My Name and I will restore strength to you. I will restore my oil and cause your face to shine. For many have walked away from My Path,” I heard the Spirit of God. “They have like Gehazi taken My Honour and consume upon themselves. Retreat in your ways and I will have mercy upon you. I will bring health to your bones and healing to your congregation. I will cause My Glory to shine on you again,” I heard. “Proclaim My Honour in the midst of My people, in the midst of the earth,” says the Lord.
The Lord bless us all. Amen!