Have you ever heard God commanded you to do something specific but it requires you to be in an uncomfortable situation?
This was what happened to Philip when God instructed him as we read:
Acts 8:26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Get up, and go to the south, to the road which goes from Jerusalem to Gaza, through the waste land.
Notice in the instruction that Philip was not just instructed to go to Gaza. He was instructed to take a road that is a wasteland. Now, if you were Philip, would you heed?
A wasteland can be associated with the words desert, wilderness, barren. It is often uninhabitable.
But reading through the succeeding verses, we can see that Philip followed. The Bible has not mentioned if Philip followed wholeheartedly or if he actually thought twice about going but we can see that he followed. He followed even without any further instructions what to do there or any clues as to what he would encounter there.
Philip just followed.
And alas! a Ethiopian official, a man of great authority was riding in his carriage while reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.
Then Philip heard another command:
Acts 8:29 And the Spirit said to Philip, Go near, and get on his carriage.
Seriously, if you were Philip, would you heed this another strange command again?
First, Philip was instructed to go through the wasteland. Philip may have contended God to just instruct him to go to other more convenient places around Jerusalem where he can share the good news of Jesus Christ. He may have asked God the easier option.
And now, God was instructing him to go near the Ethiopian official and get on his carriage. Again, we are not clear about how Philip may have felt in that moment. He, a nobody, will get near and get on the carriage of the man of authority? He may have blushed at the thought of it and may have returned his way back because of intimidation.
But Philip just followed.
And God already had a plan in mind. In His sovereignty, God must have certainly put the right words in Philip’s mouth during that time. And God must have seen the hungry heart of the Ethiopian official, a fertile ground for the gospel to be sown.
God has already planned His encounter with the Ethiopian. And He has chosen Philip to be His partner in this very special yet unlikely mission.
And while God was working an encounter in the Ethiopian’s heart through Philip, God has designed another miracle waiting to be found in that wasteland:
Acts 8:36 And while they were going on their way, they came to some water, and the Ethiopian said, See, here is water; why may I not have baptism?
What can we glean from this very short text involving Philip in the wasteland?
God has the sovereign will to call us out of our comfort zone into places we might never imagined or wanted to be.
When we heed God’s instructions, we can never go wrong.
We may not fully understand why God is instructing us to do something but faith allows us to see the bigger picture through it all.
We can be partner of God in His miracles when we willingly follow Him.
God can create miracles of water even in the wasteland.
Lord, allow us to see and have a heart like Philip. Give us eyes to see the miracles You wanted us to be a part of. Empower us with Your Holy Spirit to follow us wherever and whenever You call us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
May God grant the godly desires of your heart ❤