A phrase I heard recently keeps rolling around in my mind…
God is Supernatural and We Are Not
Yet He welcomes us to play a part in spreading the Gospel. He welcomes us as co-laborers, His Hands, His Feet to the world in which we live. What an honor and what an adventure.
We see a beautiful picture of this in the life of Phillip. His first interaction with Jesus was Jesus simply saying to him, Follow Me.
And guess what? Phillip did and his life was never the same.
He was present when Jesus fed the five thousand and we see a bit of his personality.
John 6 4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
We see in these verses that Phillip was a logical guy, a guy who tried to figure things out. A life of following Jesus was about to change all of that.
One of my favorite stories in scripture is Acts 8: 28-40
Take a walk through this story with me…
Christ Is Preached to an Ethiopian
26 Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. 27 So he arose and went.
An angel of the Lord appears to Philip and gives him instruction, to go to the desert. I’m sure that desert was not a preferred local. People were not lining up to go to the desert. Yet, we do not see Philip hesitate, even ask a question. He obediently AROSE and WENT.
The mark of a disciple is one who is willing to walk out this verse.
Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23
I’m betting that a trip to the desert was not on Philips agenda for the day. Yet, he rearranged his day, denied his plans, picked up his cross and followed the Lord’s instruction for that day.
We are planners. We have our days planned, our weeks even months planned out. What we will do, where we will go and who we will be with. We leave very little wiggle room in our schedules. When God asks us to reorganize, change our plans, take up our cross. We resist and we miss out on partnering with Him, co-laboring with him and we miss out on miracles.
If there is one thing these strange days are teaching us, it is that delay and unknowing have released us of all the plans, all the schedules.
The question is, once this is all behind us, will we fill our schedules again. Will we again leave no wiggle room to take up or cross daily and follow our Lord wherever He will take us. I fear if we do, we will miss out on miraculous opportunities.
Let’s look at the opportunity that was set before Phillip –
And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
Philip comes across a man who is seeking. His interest in Jesus had peeked and he has pulled his chariot to the side of the road, reading the scriptures. A strange place to be reading the writings of Isaiah wouldn’t you say.
29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
30 So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Again, Phillip receives a command from the Lord via HIS SPIRIT. Go and overtake this chariot of a man from another nation. I would guess that this could have been somewhat dangerous.
Yet again Philip does not hesitate, as a matter of fact, HE RAN TO HIM.
When is that last time God has given us an assignment
and WE RAN in obedience to complete it?
31 And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.
I love this picture. A man who was seeking, simply needed someone with more information to guide him. What does Philip do, he climbs up into that chariot and sits down beside him.
Philip had taught to large crowds, when he prayed, people were healed. Yet he did not hesitate to sit down with one man and tell him all he knew about Jesus.
Most people that God calls us to simply need someone to sit with them,
to spend a little time with them.
To tell them the things we know about Jesus.
- We do not have to be counselors
- It is not our job to convince them
- We do not have to lay awake at night worrying about them
We simply tell them what we know, help in any way we can and then trust God to do what He does best, the work of the heart.
32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
“He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
And who will declare His generation?
For His life is taken from the earth.”
34 So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?”
The question of all questions, who is this prophet talking about?
Himself? Or Someone else?
Philip knows the answer, because he has seen and experienced the answer. He experienced Jesus!
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him.
Philip then tells the man all about Jesus.
That is simply all we are called to do, tell people who Jesus is, and who He is to us.
- Tell them why we love Him
- Tell them why we are willing to deny ourselves, take our crosses up daily and follow Him.
36 Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
So Simple, So Beautiful!
The Lord’s priority for Philip, that one man on that one day. Time well spent!
Now are you ready for a few WOW moments?
38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
There just so happened to be, sitting in the desert – a pool of water. Everything that was needed had been supplied.
39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
In this moment Phillip joined a club that few are in. The club of being caught up in the Spirit of the Lord and transported to another location.
Can we agree to say – WOW!
40 But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
We find Phillip right back to business as usual. I wonder, could this have been a normal occurrence for him? Oh, I hope so!
We wonder shy the Ethiopian man did not seem concerned that Phillip had disappeared, the answer is clear… he was too busy rejoicing!
Friends, will we loosen our grip on our daily schedules?
Will we take up our cross and daily Follow Him?
I wonder what supernatural adventures could await us.