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What is God’s Mission-Part 6
I Wanted to Live in Colorado
There was a time I wanted to move out of New England. My plan was to go to Seminary in Texas and then move and minister in Colorado. I like the idea of saying I was from New England, but I didn’t want to live here. But the Holy Spirit worked in my life and He moved mightily. After a series of events I stayed in New England. I have no regrets. I have been in the will of the Holy Spirit and I don’t want to be anywhere else.
This is one example in my life that illustrates that the Holy Spirit leads the believer. He allowed me to plan, but he was gentle to bring me to the place where he wanted me to be. The Holy Spirit used others to speak in my life. I was also open to what he had to say and prayer was part of my discernment process. God was speaking to me.
Philip See's the Official
The Holy Spirit spoke to Philip and he responded in faith. That is what happened in Acts 8.26-40. After all the events in Samaria (a great revival, by the way), an angel of the Lord told Philip to go along the desert road from Jerusalem to Gaza. Philip obeys. The interesting thing is that who Philip meets on the road. He sees an official of the Ethiopian Queen. The Spirit tells Philip to go up to the official.
This point tells me what kind of a believer Philip was. Although he listened to the Holy Spirit and obeyed in preaching to many people in a great and exciting revival in Samaria, previously, he continued to listen and obey and goes out to a DESERT to meet with ONE, with apparently no previous instructions or planning! Boy, i’d like to be like Philip - wouldn't you? This reminds me of the idea of praying for One. I wonder if Philip was doing that.
I love what happens next after the Spirit tells Philip to approach this official in the desert. Philip asks the official what he is reading and he happens to be reading a passage from Isaiah. Philip explains the passage and leads this man to Jesus. I suggest that you take the time to read this story from Acts yourself. I find this to be one of the greatest stories in Acts. It is a great combination of the Spirit and Philip acting together. The combination needed for revival.
Philips Shares Jesus
There are two things that jump out to me. The first is Philip's obedience to what the Holy Spirit has to say. He willingly went down the road to Gaza and he willingly talked with the official from Ethiopia. This takes prayer. Asking the Holy Spirit and listening to the Holy Spirit. Remember, God speaks through the Bible, other believers, circumstances, and directly to you. Take time to use all four ways to hear clearly from God.
Philip knew his Bible. If we are going to be on God’s mission, we need to understand His Word. There are many ways you can learn His Word. Here are some suggestions:
Read a book that gives a good overview of scripture.
Attend a Bible study
Audit or take a class at a Bible College or Seminary
Find a class on-line
What are your thoughts?
Trust Without Borders
How do we respond in prayer in light of this passage? That is a great question and I’m so glad you asked. We need to ask God what his plans are and plan with Him. When I write these hubs, I ask God to speak to me as I’m writing. Whenever I plan them out, I plan with Him. A lot of times I will write out a plan and then “sit on it” for a day or two before I look at it again expecting that God will speak to me. I also do this when I write a draft, I let it sit for a day before sending it to my editors. It all goes back to the idea of praying without ceasing.
As I write this, I want to ask you some questions:
What is God saying?
Who are trusted believers that can help you discern what it is God is saying to you?
What ministries are you involved in?
What is He is asking you to do?
The Holy Spirit will lead you, are you willing to follow? If you answer yes to that, God will do great things through you. Are you willing to trust God and follow Him?
He Becomes a Believer
The story of Philip and the Ethiopian Official is an amazing story. I believe that God wants to work through you like he did with Philip. The church in Ethiopia credits this story as their beginning. Just think of what you can start if you allow the Holy Spirit to lead. I have decided to be lead by Him and not guided - not going it alone. Being lead by the Holy Spirit so much more fulfilling than being guided because He is wiser than me. And he is my Lord and not my equal. Plus, He’s on mission, not a tour.
We need to pray, pray, and pray. Early and often. And while you are praying, take time to LISTEN to God.