“Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went.”
~Acts 8:26, 27a (NRSV)
Philip travels along this wilderness road, by faith, having been ushered there by the Spirit, not knowing why, but still having the sense to do it without hesitation or complaint.
And it’s fortunate for the Ethiopian eunuch that he does.
Philip was sent along that road as the messenger of God to answer the questions that were already running through the eunuch’s mind. Nobody else could do what, at that time, only Philip could do. Only Philip could do it.
We have the same choice when it comes to the sense of the Spirit we perceive. The silent will of God makes its way known to us, and we volitionally obey or disobey. We make the choice. We bless someone and become blessed ourselves, or we let the opportunity slip through our fingers and no one is blessed.
Venturing On Our Wilderness Roads
It just might be that the Angel of the Lord says to us, ‘Go, do this thing for me.’
We may be instantly fearful of the territory we must tread, or even of the notion to risk for God. But a single step in the right direction warrants the fear negligible; we see it for what it is; our courage has met with the reality that faith conquers fear.
And it just might be that the Lord is communicating to us through these things. The Divine request is one thing, and the tremulous territory we tread ups the ante. There may be additional tests. Could it be that the Lord is offering a more substantial blessing for our obedience? Not a blessing that’s personally requited, but one beyond anything we could bestow on ourselves.
Many Risks Of Faith Become Surprisingly Pleasant
The veneer that is fear in the face of a gargantuan-looking challenge is turned into a conquest proving ripe for our faith. The fruit of our faith—in its divinely-appointed instant—reaps more multiplicity and potential for the Gospel agenda. The things of God expand exponentially and do not contract.
That’s the outworking of the blessing; more bricks are added to the kingdom—and the gates of hell will not stop it, ever.
The surprisingly pleasant drift of the Spirit resonates in something we learn. We learn that if we risk, by obeying the Lord, expressing our faith by action, confidence is added to us. The next time will be easier.
Where would the eunuch be if Philip hadn’t have obeyed the Angel of the Lord?
We stand to be blessed only in proportion to our acts of courageous, instantaneous and enthusiastic faith. Only by faith can we please God (Hebrews 11:6).
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.