As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.
The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”
Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
The passage of Scripture he had been reading was this:
“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter.And as a lamb is silent before the shearers,he did not open his mouth.He was humiliated and received no justice.Who can speak of his descendants?For his life was taken from the earth.”The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, was the prophet talking about himself or someone else?” So beginning with this same Scripture, Philip told him the Good News about Jesus.
As they rode along, they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?”
“You can,” Philip answered, “if you believe with all your heart.” And the eunuch replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
He ordered the carriage to stop, and they went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away. The eunuch never saw him again but went on his way rejoicing. Meanwhile, Philip found himself farther north at the town of Azotus. He preached the Good News there and in every town along the way until he came to Caesarea.
Choices. We make them every day. Some are simple. Some are complicated. Others are life-changing. Both Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch were presented with a choice. How they responded would forever change lives.
Philip was ordered by the angel of the Lord to “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” That seems like such a random command to me. “Hey, Philip! Start walking down this desert road.” I’m afraid I would probably want to know where the Lord wanted me to go. What’s the destination? Am I supposed to go to Gaza? Why this road? How long am I supposed to walk?
I so often want to understand the destination before I obey, but the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I begin to understand that it’s not always about the destination. Many times, it’s simply about walking with Him and being present to respond to whatever he puts in my path each moment.
That’s why Philip’s response is so wonderful. “So he started out…” No questions, no delay. He simply starts walking down the desert road. And because of his response, he meets the Ethiopian eunuch traveling toward him, needing someone to show him Jesus.
The Ethiopian eunuch also had a choice to make. He was trying to understand who Isaiah was speaking about and Philip teaches him about Jesus. I have to wonder if Philip shared with him the miracles that recently occurred at Pentecost and the thousands of people who were baptized that day. Regardless, they eventually come across some water and the eunuch’s response is immediate:
“Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?”
And within a moment, as the result of their choices and responses, one more life was changed.
What choice is God presenting to you today? Maybe you need to simply stop asking questions and be more like Peter and allow God to use you to point someone else to Jesus. Your response can lead to many changed lives for God.
Maybe you’re like the Ethiopian eunuch and someone has shared Jesus with you and now it’s time to respond. Become a changed life~choose to follow Jesus and be baptized. It’s a choice that you will never regret!
Trust God with the journey and stop worrying about the destination. Inhale the truth that God will lead you on the best path. Exhale your response to follow Him today.
Heavenly Father, you know how much we struggle surrendering our perceived control of our lives over to you. We want to obey, but we have so many questions we think need answering first. We miss so many beautiful opportunities that you have planned for us because we refuse to follow your lead and simply obey. Forgive us. Help us surrender every moment to you and use us to change lives…
Today’s post was written by Michele Barnes.
Michele is married to the love of her life, Jeff. She has 3 grown children and 1 very sweet new grandson! Most days you can find Michele laughing with good friends, working with numbers, writing, or working with women. In the evenings, she enjoys spending time in a few creative outlets like creative lettering, drawing, and pottery. She loves snuggling with her dog, Tebow, and reading. But her most recent passion is snuggling with her sweet, new grandson and gazing at his precious face and bright smile! You can find her most weekends worshiping at our Real Life Clermont campus.