Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. – Acts 8:26 ESV
As some of you know, I am currently in the process of recording video lectures for a class I am teaching at Covington Theological Seminary. The lectures are around an hour each (a little less), and I’m supposed to be doing around 30 of them – all from the book of Acts.
Believe me, this is not work! I pretend that I get to preach for nearly an hour without one person complaining! How awesome is that??
Anyway, after a long time away from doing the lectures – all because of our recent move, and all that – I got back into the studio and back into Acts. Today I recorded lectures on chapters 7 and 8.
Well, even though I use notes, especially notes that I made when preaching through the Book of Acts a while back, there are always moments when God shows me something mid-stream. That’s what happened today, and, boy, did I get excited!
In the latter part of chapter eight we read of where God sent Philip to meet up with the Ethiopian eunuch, but notice the instructions… “Take a road south…to the desert.” (my paraphrase)
How easy it would be to quickly read over that last part and not catch the significance of it! Philip had just experienced what could literally be called a full-fledged revival in Samaria – even Peter and John came over as guest speakers. Now, here’s the Lord sending Philip out into the desert, far away from the wells and the villages teaming with new church members.
How many of us would have almost immediately questioned the direction of God? But what does Luke say that Philip did? He “rose and went.” No arguing, he just went.
Remember, it was in Acts 6:3 that we read where Philip was one of seven men chosen to be deacons, men “full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.” What an example! A wise man, a man filled with the Spirit, should be one who says, “Yes, Lord.” Unfortunately, we have too many these days who would question God’s leading, even to the point of missing an incredible opportunity and a divine appointment.
Philip could have rationalized that there was nothing in the desert, so why go? But God knew what Philip didn’t: there was a man on a chariot who need to be told about Jesus.
You see, God may have called you away from the well-watered villages of Samaria to a dry and deserted place. Maybe He’s call you, but you haven’t left, yet. Don’t wait! Don’t worry! God has a reason that might result in hundreds, thousands, or even millions being reached with the Gospel, all because you were faithful to witness to a man in a chariot.