The Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” Acts 8:29
I remember taking a test when I was in high school (a long, long time ago!) The teacher handed out the test and said, ‘Read the whole test first before you start writing.’ Invariably there were those who did not obey the instructions and began filling in the blanks as they read the test. At the end of the test, the very last question, said, ‘Write your name on your test and do not answer any of the questions.’ You could hear the groaning around the room as each of us got to the end of the test!
Instructions are important; they are vital for our success! We see it in our natural lives every day, instructions from our parents, from our bosses, from teachers; and we know if we follow their instructions we will succeed in what they are asking us to do. But how tuned are our spiritual ears to hear? How often do we rush ahead of the Holy Spirit; we don’t wait for Him to instruct us? Think how successful we could be if we would just learn to wait and listen for His instructions!
The Holy Spirit instructs us. He listens to what the Father is saying and then He speaks to us, instructing us. The account of Philip and the Ethiopian is a really great example of how the Holy Spirit gives detailed instructions and then shows the results of what happens when we obey His instructions. There will always be fruit when we obey the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives us. God is at work and He is wants you to join Him!
Acts 8:26-29 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. 27 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, 28 was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.”
The Holy Spirit instructed Philip to ‘Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ Philip was given a very specific instruction. He encounters the Ethiopian treasurer, he was a powerful man who had great authority, he worked for the queen of the Ethiopians, Candace. The Ethiopian is reading the prophet Isaiah out loud while he is sitting in his chariot.
Now we see the Holy Spirit give Philip another very specific instruction. Go over and walk along beside the carriage. Philip obeys and shares the Good News of Jesus with him and then proceeds to baptize him.
The Holy Spirit gave Philip instructions; he was obviously very familiar with God’s voice. Then he obeyed. There was great fruit because of his obedience to the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit will give you instructions. He will tell you how to proceed in a particular area, He will instruct you on how to avoid pitfalls. His instructions are always based upon the Word and they never violate His nature, character or attributes.
In Acts 8, the Holy Spirit was giving an instruction to Philip. He was telling him what to do. Why? Because He had a plan in mind and He had an end goal that He wanted accomplished and He used Philip to carry out His assignment and directives.
Can you image if we all would listen for His instructions and then obey them? The world would change! People’s lives could be transformed forever.
He has a plan for you, He has an end goal for you, He has something He wants to accomplish through you. Are you listening and willing to obey?