Guided By God
How has your week been? Talk to God about its ups and downs as you prepare to read his Word.
Read Acts 8:26-40
 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road-the desert road-that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,  and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet.  The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”  Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.  “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.  This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.  In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”  The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”  Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.  As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?”   And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.  Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy was Phillip available to help this Ethiopian?
Wouldn’t it be nice if God always guided us in such clear ways as this: sending an angel (26) or simply picking us up and placing us where he wants us (39,40)? It’s tempting to think that Philip had it easy. However, God worked with Philip the way he works with us. In v. 29 we are told that the Spirit spoke to Philip telling him what to do. We are not told how the Spirit communicated with Philip, only that Philip obeyed. The Holy Spirit still speaks to us today, possibly the same way he spoke to Philip. Often it’s simply a thought or an impulse to do something, all too easily ignored or dismissed. It is as we obey these promptings of the Spirit that we come to recognize his voice. The next thing that Philip does is to speak (35). More literal translations say here, “Philip opened his mouth.” It is difficult to explain the Gospel without opening your mouth. In order for God to use him, Philip had to take action. God may have guided Philip in supernatural ways, but Philip was no pawn. He had to play his part in order to achieve God’s purpose.
How could you become increasingly sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s promptings? What is the Spirit leading you to do?
Lord, may Your Spirit open my heart and mind to hear Your promptings and, then, to obediently follow them.
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