Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert. So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” Acts 8:26-29
Have you ever been directed by God to an unexpected place to do an incredible thing? If you have spent any time with the Lord, you have no doubt experienced this.
One of the most amazing days in my life was in 2009. It came with God orchestrating events that we never could have anticipated. We got a call that a young believer who walked to our weekly Bible study in one of the camps had passed away. John (a pastor from Sudan) and myself decided to visit his widow and children to show our support. We entered a new village which was far off the beaten path and that was thought to be unsafe. The first time to a remote village to mourn, turned into a day of healing physically and spiritually. Half of a community came to the Lord. It started with one hungry man name Raymond who was searching and ready to hear the Gospel. Eight years later, the believers still meet weekly and we go to encourage them and share with them from the Word of God. It all started with a move of the Spirit on that day that He led us to Lukwor North Village for purposes that we could not see.
Similarly, God called Philip to go into the desert. He had no idea why, but he obeyed God’s voice. There he met an Ethiopian man who was searching. God used Philip to reach this man, who went back home and shared Jesus with others in Ethiopia. Thus, God’s work spread and lives were forever changed.
It all starts with God leading us into the unknown. John and I went deep into the bush to a new village where we met a hungry man who ran around sharing with everyone he could find to come hear about Jesus. We see the fruit of that day still, eight years later. Philip was led into the desert to meet an Ethiopian man of high influence who would bring Jesus back with him to East Africa as well. This one Ethiopian man’s influence would impact generations to come. In both cases, God had a plan. We didn’t know His plan, but as we walked in Him, it unfolded before us. And the repercussions continue to this day.
We never know what will happen through the desert we are in. We can choose to go our own way, but we will miss something so exciting that it can literally change eternity for others and transform our lives as well. Something as simple as visiting a grieving friend or sitting in a chariot with a searching man is not small in the eyes of God. He uses it for a greater purpose.
Will you let the Spirit of God lead you into the unknown?
Will you, like Philip, say yes, not knowing what’s ahead?
Will you go, even if it seems unsafe?
Even if it means going through a desert, the end result will be far more than worth it.
Even if it sounds unsafe, the safest place to be is in the center of God’s will for your life! And it is certainly the most rewarding.
I challenge you this week to listen to His promptings, and forge ahead in faith that He has a beautiful plan.