"If only God would show me His will, then I would do it," I've oft heard expressed. What we really want is a picture of the next few years, so we can relax and just kinda' go with it. God often gives us just the first step though we wait until we know more. Here's the thing though--we do not see things as God sees - including time. God sees time as all one piece, whereas we see it as it chronologically happens.
No, on the face of things, God’s next move in our story does not make sense, as we bear in mind that Philip is changing lives right where he is. Luke writes, "Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go towards the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place." v.26
‘Wait, Lord, are you sure…? As many people are responding to the gospel message and your word is going forth, you are going to pull Philip out? Yet, this was step onefor Philip. Think of all that Phiip was involved in at Samaria; did it make sense to move him out and send him down to God-forsaken Gaza? What was God doing?
Obviously, this is where trust is involved: He is God, and we are not. God often prompts us with the first step but doesn't give us the second step until we have obeyed the first. He sees the picture clearly and we are called to trust Him period.
If you want to hear more from God, do what he has already directed you to do and he will lead you further. I have clearly seen this demonstrated in my own life over and over--really, the adventure is very thrilling--though sometimes puzzling when I'm in the middle of it.
God was in pursuit of one man, as we see from this passage, so he sent Philip to explain Jesus and the Gospel to him. One man mattered.
Aaahhhh, so God is concerned about even ONE? Oh, yes, back in Luke 15, Jesus gave three examples of where an all-out search was undertaken to reclaim that which was LOST. The shepherd leaves the 99 to rescue the lost ONE. . . Philip is called from preaching the Gospel to the crowd to go and reach ONE. I love that about God . . . ONE matters.
The Ethiopian had been to Jerusalem to worship, (the Queen of Sheba had taken Judaism to Ethiopia at the time of Solomon), and was on his way home, when Philip saw him reading in his chariot. It would have had to be a scroll he was reading and probably a rather cumbersome one at that.
God gives Philip step two: "Get over close to him, and stay by him." And so Philip does. From there, it seems Philip's next steps were intuitive. He inquired what the man was reading and then he knew that God had brought him to this moment, for this man. . . as we talked about yesterday, 'for such a time as this'. Now, he was on familiar ground. Why, he had been explaining the Gospel message for days in Samaria, but now it was just one on one. Why? Because to God, ONE matters. . . especially one who is seeking after God, which clearly the Ethiopian was, since he had made the long pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship. Indeed, ONE matters.
A violent storm battered the beach and left behind hundreds of star fish washed up on the shore. Starfish as far as you could see. A boy walked down the beach and began throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one at a time. Soon a man walked up and asked, "What are you doing? You'll never get all these starfish back into the sea--you're wasting your time! What does it matter?" The boy turned and bent down, picked up a starfish and threw it back into the ocean. He turned to look at the man and said, "It mattered to that one." Ah, yes.
Look for opportunities to follow God where he is working. . . obey what he prompts you to do. . . get in the game. It is an adventure like no other.
And remember. . . ONE always matters. Take the time, make the moment.
Perhaps you need to remember how much YOU Matter to God ~ listen to this new song by Riley Clemmons: I'm Not Alone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-38yaly2Wmg