An angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get ready and go south to the road that leads down to Gaza from Jerusalem Acts 8:26 NCV
Yesterday we learnt that there are times for silence and today we look at another way to hear the voice of God in that we need to be sensitive.
Remember yesterday God was not in the hurricane etc but in the silence. Well we learn that when we become sensitive to the spirit, it gives us discernment. A perfect example of this is recorded in the book of Acts 8.
Philip was having a highly successful campaign and in the midst of this campaign Philip is called by God to leave and head into a desert to speak to one person.
We might have thought that Philip would have objected to leaving the great success of the work in Samaria to go out to the desolate desert. Not in the least. Why? Philip was sensitive to what God wanted him to do. Philip believed that God had a plan for his life and therefore was willing to be submissive, even to go to the desert.
Logically it did not make sense when hundreds were coming to faith. Everything you could dream of was happening. Then whoosh it is all over and you are off to the desert. Fix it firmly in your heart that God’s ways are sometimes illogical to the human being as He tells us My ways and your ways are vastly different so you need to choose which one to accept. Philip had found out God’s ways were the best, I hope you do too.
The whole episode hinged on Philip’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. In the midst of success Philip could still be sensitive to the guiding and leading of the Holy Spirit and there is a valuable lesson. Do not let your business or success prevent you from being sensitive to the Holy Spirit.
Philip obeyed and went into the desert and even there Philip was relying on the sensitivity of the spirt to show him why he was there and what direction to take and what to do.
The outcome was Philip was told to speak to one person (The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it) .”and that one person became a follower of Jesus. We do not know his name, what happened to him or any other information but that is ok. The point of this whole story was Philip’s sensitivity to the calling of the Spirit.
Philip never went back to the big campaign. The spirit led him in a completely new direction. The Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more … Philip was found at Azotus
There is a lesson for us.If we stay sensitive to the spirit we too will be guided and directed by the spirit, but be aware it make take us to unexpected places or even stop us when we are enjoying huge success so like the boy scouts motto Be Prepared
Remember we talked about being silent.Well when we do this we can develop a listening ear, and I believe we need to listen to what the Bible says. “He that has an ear, let him hear” this is repeated 16 times in the New Testament (Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9, 23; Mark 7:16; Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35; Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 29; Revelation 3:6, 13, 22; Revelation 13:9). Of those 16 times, seven times the words “let him hear what the Spirit is saying …” is added.
The Ethiopian needed to hear the good news but that required someone telling him as he was reading something he could not understand. Philip’s sensitivity to hearing the spirit ( The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.)” enabled that Ethiopian to hear words that would change his life.
By the way the Ethiopian eunuch left Philip rejoicing. Isn’t that the way we would love to leave people.
.On Monday we will look at one more requisite to help us present ourselves habitually and intentionally on a daily basis to God
In the meantime stay safe and Blessed.