Sunday, April 13, 2014

"His Wondrous Ways"

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
In Acts chapter 8:26-40 we read about Philip and his encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza. Actually the subtitle in my bible for this encounter is called, 'The Preaching on the Gaza Road.' and I was sitting here thinking, "What a dumb title." If it was me, I would call it, 'His Wondrous Ways' or 'His Amazing Plan.'  Why?  Because one of my most favorite verses is Psalm 119:18 ...Open my eyes that I may see Wondrous things from Your law and this encounter is full of wondrous things!

It begins with Philip starting his day with an 'encounter with an angel' who tells him..."Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. So he arose and went. Wondrous or what? Philip starts his day with a visit from an angel who lets him know the plan for the day. He tells him to go take a trip on a desert road and Philip immediately goes. No ifs, no ands, no BUTs. He didn't argue that it was a deserted desert road; He just obeys and when he gets out there - there just happens to be a chariot up ahead with the Ethiopian eunuch inside.

At this point the Holy Spirit tells him to, "Go near and overtake this chariot."  So he got his initial orders from an angel and then he gets specific directions from the Holy Spirit. I love these next five words. Are you ready? It says, 'so Philip ran to him,' Again, he follows the leading or the plan that God has for his day. Again, no ifs, no ands, no BUTs. No arguments. No doubts. He didn't question, 'Is that really you Lord?" or doubt at all. He just obeyed. Why? Because He knew the voice of the Holy Spirit. He knew that this encounter was a part of the plan that God had for his day. He obeyed the direction of the angel and the leading of the Holy Spirit because he trusted God to direct his paths.

The next thing we see is that he is obedient to his purpose for being there in the first place. In Proverbs 8:17 it says 'I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me.' and in Proverbs 10:3 it says 'The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish.' A man with a heart that was seeking and hungry to know was waiting  in that chariot.  Philip preached Jesus to him! And here is another wondrous event. The Ethiopian declares, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Another soul added to the kingdom. He wants to be baptized so Philip stops the chariot and baptises him on the spot.

At this point we see yet another wondrous amazing God event take place. It says that,... Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea. Wondrous or what! One minute here the next caught away by the Holy Spirit. Why? He had more Preaching Jesus to do elsewhere!

Philip trusted in the Lord with all his heart, he didn't lean on his own understanding; But in all his ways he acknowledged the Lord, and the Lord directed his path! Wondrous or what! He met with an angel, was led by the Spirit, ran and overtook a chariot, led a guy to the Lord, and was translated to his next assignment. Wondrous things that were all in a days work for Philip. Why? Because he trusted  God to direct his path!

A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace an not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

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