In the Desert
Acts 8:26 – And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
Imagine for a moment; you’re an evangelist that has the full support and backing of the church; you’re holding a series of meetings in which the power of Holy Spirit is being greatly manifest; two great apostles come to the meetings to assist you, especially in the area of ministering the baptism of Holy Ghost. What a powerful ministry is taking place, and you’re right in the middle of it. Then the Lord speaks to you and tells you to leave that meeting, go in a particular direction without specifying a destination. And it just so happens that the direction you are told to go is into the desert. How do you think such a directive from the Lord would be handled in today’s world of super-abundant media, hyper-notoriety, and potential for advancement? I am firmly convinced that many ministers today would choose fame and fortune over such staunch obedience to the Lord’s leadership.
That is the situation Philip was facing. He was the primary leader of this great Holy Ghost-outbreak in the city of Samaria. And here he is, being sent alone into the desert. You may already be familiar with the story. While in the desert, Philip saw a chariot passing, and was told by the Lord to join the person traveling in the chariot. He was an Ethiopian eunuch who served Candice, the Ethiopian queen as her treasurer. He had been in Jerusalem to worship. And while Philip was having great success in Samaria, his connection to one man, the Ethiopian eunuch, would open the door for Christian witness to an entire nation that could erupt into reaching a multitude of other nations. And for that to happen, an evangelist named Philip had to be willing to take a walk in the desert, not even sure where he was going, to make what would ultimately be a connection for international Christian witness. He had to face the heat from a blistering sun, dry winds that would parch the mouth and throat, sand in his sandals that could rub one’s skin raw, all to reach one man.
It is amazing what one may face in a simple walk. And that includes you and me. Are we willing to pull back from what looks like the ultimate success to do a work for the Lord that would be all but unseen, known only to few (at the time of its doing), and take that walk through what would be, at the very least, difficult circumstances, like the terrain of a desert? Are you willing to walk through the desert, and perhaps get some sand in your shoes? Take a walk.
Manna for Today – Psalm 1:1-6; 1 John 1:7-9; Acts 8:4-40