so philip ran to him and heard him reading isaiah the prophet and asked, “do you understand what you are reading?” and he said, “how can i, unless someone guides me?” and he invited philip to come up and sit with him. [acts 8:30-31]
when we are walking in the Spirit, we are ready to share Christ. in our family, we’re ready to share Christ’s forgiveness. at church, we are ready to share Christ’s joy. at the grocery store, we are ready to share Christ’s hope. at work, we are ready to share Christ’s peace.
philip did not happen upon this scenario because it landed in his lap. philip was aware of his surroundings, looking for an opportunity for the light of the gospel to shine. because he was sensitive to the voice of the Spirit, he was able to walk into this scenario ready, eager, with bold wisdom. when we recognize the voice of the Spirit because we have spent regular, intimate hours with Him, we can walk through our day with the same readiness.
- when we are walking in the Spirit, we will be quick to obey. so philip ran… he wasted no time. he didn’t contemplate whether or not it would be awkward. he didn’t stop to think about his own safety. he just ran. this requires eyes wide open, looking to see where you can let your light shine. as it is said, “today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” [hebrews 3:15]
- when we are walking in the Spirit, our ears will be open. and [philip] heard him reading… philip was attentive to how he might interact with this man by listening. he didn’t come with preconceived notions. he didn’t come with a speech planned out. he just listened. this requires attention and genuine care, listening for where your light can meet the needs of someone God puts in your path. then the King will say to those on his right, ‘come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. for i was hungry and you gave me food, i was thirsty and you gave me drink, i was a stranger and you welcomed me, i was naked and you clothed me, i was sick and you visited me, i was in prison and you came to me.’ [matthew 25:34-36]
- when we are walking in the Spirit, we will not be afraid to engage. and [philip] asked… he didn’t sit down to plan his attack. he didn’t wait for the lump in his throat to clear. he just spoke. this requires a selfless desire for the glory of God to be known everywhere, and a compassionate desire that others know and enjoy the glory of God the way you do. out of this desire will your light shine with boldness and love. but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; [1 peter 3:15]
being ready and willing, bold and compassionate, will not always lead to an invitation to sit and read the Bible in someone’s chariot. it will not always lead to the fruit of salvation. sometimes we will be dismissed. sometimes we may be reviled. but success is not measured by human standards. our success is in our obedience. the more time we spend seeking the Lord, asking for growth, longing to see him work, the more obvious opportunities will be to share his love, his light, his truth. are you looking for these opportunities? are you asking for these opportunities? are you ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you?
Father, fill us with your Spirit. may we listen to your voice. we long to see your kingdom come and your will be done. give us boldness to walk in obedience to your prompting. give us compassion for the world around us. and may your name be hallowed wherever we go! amen!
~ arwen eastman