I love this story about Philip being told by an angel to go south along the road towards Gaza and he just obeys and heads off with no other instructions, faith step number 1.
Then on the road the Spirit says to Philip go to that chariot and again without hesitation he obeys! Faith step number 2.
The Ethiopian man in the chariot is reading Isaiah 53 and has no idea what the scripture is talking about and Philip engages the man and helps him understand that the text is about Jesus the messiah, the one they have all been waiting for, who came and died for our sins, and obviously how to be saved. Faith step number 3.
Then the man says “well here is some water what is stopping me being baptised?” And Philip without shame or hesitation gives the condition to be saved and says “If you believe with all your heart, you may”, faith step number 4.
And then he baptises the Ethiopian in the river. Faith step number 5
The whole story is full of the grace and love of God but also the faith and obedience of Philip. Here was a man searching for truth and God sends a willing servant, Philip to give the truth that he thirsts for and that truth can only be found in Jesus. Philip had faith in the call to go, then faith in the Holy Spirits prompting, faith to share the gospel with a stranger, faith to set the condition to salvation and faith in Gods saving grace through repentance, confession and baptism. What if Philip didn’t have faith and obey God? He would have missed out on an amazing adventure! and God would have got someone else to go for Him because God’s plan was for the gospel to go into all the world. Philip had faith in God not himself.
How many opportunities to see God move in power and love through us have we missed due to lack of faith and obedience to the Holy Spirit?
It takes faith to trust God when we are led by the spirit to step out and engage people. We often feel unequipped to share Gods love for others but we need to trust that when we are obedient we will see Gods power and love work through us. Just like Philip, we need to have faith in God not ourselves. Sometimes we just need to take the next faith step God is calling us into even though we don’t know where that will take us, and then the next faith step and then the next and we will see the glory and love of God manifest in and through us.
Lord may I become more aware of your prompting and have the faith in you to be obedient to your call, even when I have no idea where you are taking me or what lies ahead. God, I know you don’t need me but delight in including me in what you are doing in the world.
Lord I have faith in you and use me for you glory.