It was at a 'happening' restaurant in Marin County that I met a group of friends and acquaintances some time back. A newcomer, an artist, was amongst us and had a question for the group to get us all talking and get to know one another on some level. Her question: what's your fifth biggest fear? Now if you think about it - it is a brilliant question because it is not too personal, yet allows for everyone listening to learn something about the person sitting next to him. To be fifth means something is not too important, not too vital, not too high a priority, right?
The order of names is noteworthy in the Bible. Throughout the gospels, Philip is always listed fifth in the order of disciples, so a 'middle of the pack' kinda guy, not your 'Type A Overachiever' kinda fellow. That's all right . . . note the impact Philip had when he rolled on up in Samaria in Acts chapter 8. link: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+8.1-25&version=NLT Everybody wanted to be near him, to feel the power of the Holy Spirit; many came to faith in Jesus as a result. What can one ordinary guy do? Let's think a little more about Philip. He was faithful. . . with that which he knew and was called to do. "For such a time as this," Esther was called to a life-saving mission which set her apart from all the women in the land and saved the Jewish people from destruction. Philip was also called for just such a time in the history of the church. Remember, Stephen has just been martyred and Saul is wreaking havoc on all things Christian. The persecution is so intense that Christians are fleeing Jerusalem by the droves and Philip finds himself in 'enemy' territory (Samaria) as far as the Jews are concerned. Yet, here it is that Philip ministers, performs miracles and souls are saved--Philip, fifth - one ordinary guy. He is faithful to what God called him to do. 'Reminds me of Moses when God called him from the desert to go and lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. . . take a look with me at Exodus 3 and 4, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+3+-+4&version=NLT. God speaks to Moses from a burning bush that was not consumed with the fire. He calls him out and though Moses pleads that he is not able. . . can't speak well...blah, blah, blah ... God asks, 'what's that in your hand, Moses?' And then we see that God takes just who Moses was, just what he had in is hand, and uses it for powerful purposes. You and I may be a bush. . . a rod in someone's hand. . . a small voice. . . but if God could use a bush, He can use you and me. What CAN God do through one ordinary guy? Ask Philip, the guy fifth in line. Philip had in his hand passion for the truth of the Gospel and the power of the Spirit to do the miraculous. . . God used both, and multitudes came to know God because an ordinary man was faithful. Philip--an ordinary leader + the empowerment of the Spirit + the authority of Jesus Christ and Scripture = changes in the world around him. WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR HAND, ORDINARY PERSON? God wants to use it to effect change in the world around you. Esther was made 'for such a time as this' and you? You also have been created and gifted and placed at just this time in history, in exactly the circumstances where you can be most used of God. I am passionate about the fact that who you and I are as Christians and how we conduct ourselves in Jesus' name has never mattered as much as it matters now at this time in history, following a year that turned the world upside down in this country, in this world. Philip was just an ordinary guy, but he was faithful and passionate! Let's you and I be the same - faithful and passionate about the truth of the love and power of God - and share it with others to change the world around us. What do you say? A most appropriate song: God so Loved, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMTf-GJa1tg. Be used of God, Friend~ Christine