Divine Appointments – Hope 103.2

Divine Appointments

By David ReayWednesday 19 Dec 2018LifeWords Devotionals

Read Acts 8:26-31

26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go south down the road which runs from Jerusalem to Gaza, out in the desert.”

27-29 Philip arose and began his journey. At this very moment an Ethiopian eunuch, a minister and in fact the treasurer to Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, was on his way home after coming to Jerusalem to worship. He was sitting in his carriage reading the prophet Isaiah. The Spirit said to Philip, “Approach this carriage, and keep close to it.”

30 Then as Philip ran forward he heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah, and he said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 And he replied, “How can I unless I have someone to guide me?” (JBP)

God will sometimes have us do strange things which make no sense. Here, Philip is told to go out to a desert road. How this was conveyed to him is not made clear. An angel of the Lord may be a heavenly being or may be another way of describing some inner impulse which he believed came from God.

In any case, he obeys—which is always a good thing to do even if obedience doesn’t make much sense. But God was setting up a divine appointment. At that time, an Ethiopian official was travelling that way. He had some idea of the Jewish faith: he attended the temple and had Scriptures with him.

Most of us don’t like barging up to someone and asking them if they understood what they were reading. But when it is a divine appointment, the usual etiquette doesn’t apply. And so Philip gets to explain the truth of Jesus to him and later the official is baptised as a new convert. God knew what he was doing even if Philip might have originally doubted it.

May we pray for such divine appointments rather than blundering in to satisfy our egos or our sense of guilt. If God is opening doors, our witness will bear fruit. If he is not, it is just wearying, frustrating, and occasionally embarrassing. Let the Spirit open doors rather than trying to break them down ourselves.

David Reay

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