Do you ever read a passage of Scripture for the 10th time or hear it preached again and something pops out to you that you’ve never thought of before? This happened to me on Sunday with the sermon about Philip meeting the Ethiopian treasurer in Acts 8:24-40. I usually think, what an ideal situation to talk about Jesus! I mean the opportunity is pretty much laid in Philip’s lap. The Ethiopian is reading from Isaiah 53, which by the way is explicitly about Jesus, and he asks Philip to explain the passage to him! It’s as if the Ethiopian said, “hey man I’ve never met before, can you tell me about Jesus?” Talk about an opportunity I want!
But what I heard for the first time, even though I’ve read this passage a ton of times, was though Philip’s opportunity to share the gospel seems so easy, there was quite a bit of obedience required of him before this encounter could occur. We forget or gloss over the part where Philip is commanded to go, leave whatever he is doing, and head toward a completely different town. What does he do? He rose and went! He didn’t challenge the angel, or give excuses or even ask questions, he simply got up and went in obedience. He’s then told to approach the Ethiopian, and Philip does with the same obedience.
How many times am I nudged by the Spirit to talk to someone in a store, or to cross the street and talk to a neighbor about Jesus, and because of either fear or lack of eagerness, I stay in my comfortable situation? I decide in that moment, which by the way is the first step in my opportunity to share Jesus, that I either don’t want to be interrupted, I’m too fearful, or I lack eagerness to share Jesus. You see, opportunities are most likely around us way more than we know, even opportunities that could be as “easy” as Philip’s, but we, I, miss them because I don’t have the eagerness or the faith to take that first step of obedience.
Listen to sermon Are you Going in Power? by Pastor Mike Willis.