Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The People Waiting for Us to Obey God's Crazy Instructions

God was telling him to hop into some random guy's chariot.

What was he supposed to do? Was he just supposed to ignore God?

Philip watched as the chariot charged past him. Perhaps this was what God had wanted him to do all along today. His empty, relaxing day had been snatched from him bright and early when God's whisper rode to him on the morning breeze. Bit by bit, God had led him to this place.

God's voice came to him again. "Go over and join this chariot."

Philip ran to catch up with the chariot. Strength surged through him as he moved with the grace of a gazelle. As he approached hearing range, Philip heard the man speaking. Only it didn't sound like a normal conversation. No, it sounded like he was reading something, based on the focused muttering Philip was hearing. Picking up his speed, Philip moved closer. It was Isaiah. The man was reading from Isaiah.

Philip glanced into the chariot. The man was Ethiopian, and based on his fine clothes, he was a member of the court. He felt the Holy Spirit prompting him to speak. He took a deep breath before speaking. "Do you understand what you are reading?"

The Ethiopian man jumped. He had been so focused on his reading that he hadn't noticed Philip running alongside his chariot. A vulnerable look replaced his confusion. "How can I," he said. "Unless someone guides me?"

"Friend, God has led me here today to guide you."

The Ethiopian's face brightened. He waved to the driver to halt the chariot, and Philip skidded to a stop. "Come and sit with me," the man said.

Acts 8:26-31

Guys, imagine God's telling you to hop into a stranger's car. (I say car because we don't see a lot of chariots charging down the street anymore.)

Would you do it?

Back up to the beginning of this section when God tells Philip to go south towards a certain road without any other instructions. Then Philip just gets to wait there until the Ethiopian man's chariot approaches.

Would you have done that?

Think about that man. He was vulnerable. He was lost. He wanted to understand. He wanted to understand the Scriptures. He wanted to know Jesus. He was searching, and he had no one to help him.

If Philip hadn't been willing to chase after a stranger's chariot and then jump in, the Ethiopian wouldn't have gotten to know God. He would have remained lost if Philip had been too scared, or ignored God's voice.

Next time God asks you to do something that seems totally crazy and way, way out of your comfort zone, think about Philip. If he can chase a stranger down the street to share the Gospel, surely we can do whatever insane thing God is asking us to do. Why? Because we never know what vulnerable, hurting, lost person is waiting for us. Without us willingly obeying God's crazy instructions, the people waiting for us might never know Him.

V. Joy Palmer

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