Read His Words Before Ours!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to BE your favorite animal?
To soar like an eagle?
Carry 20x your weight like an ant?
Change colors like a chameleon?
Do acrobatics like a dolphin?
The Kratt Brothers have been helping children learn about animal “super powers” for decades. At the beginning of each episode, they introduce an animal, highlight its unique traits, then ask something like, “Can you imagine if we really could join the pack and howl with the wolves?” The brothers jump into position and ask “What if…” as they transform into cartoon characters who go on a creature adventure experiencing firsthand the super powers of the animal.
As I considered this Journey Study, several questions immediately stood out:
What if we lived like we had access to the Holy Spirit?
What if eternity really could be changed by our simple, willing obedience?
I couldn’t help but think of the Kratt Brothers’ enthusiastic “What if…!”
It’s easy to look at biblical men like Joseph, Daniel, Peter, or Paul and think they were super-humans with special powers. We put them on a pedestal, figuring we could never be like them – teaching, preaching, healing, changing lives, and building God’s kingdom like crazy.
We read about strong, brave women like Ruth, Esther, Hannah, and Mary categorizing them as heroes of faith while quickly writing off OUR ability to have the same impact.
But WHAT IF…
What if we DO have the same power as Peter and Paul?!
What if we CAN make a difference in our families, communities, and ultimately the world like the heroines we admire?
In Acts 8, we find another biblical hero, Philip; a man God used to alter the course of history.
We find Philip in Jerusalem, having just returned from Samaria. He’s busy preaching the gospel, and despite the persecution believers are facing, the church is growing! Demons are being cast out; the paralyzed and lame are being healed. God is obviously at work!
In the midst of all this action, an angel tells Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (Acts 8:26)
What would you have done?
Pulled up GPS on your phone for exact directions?
Checked the weather app to see what you need to pack?
Looked at your calendar for your next available opening?
Of course Philip didn’t have a cell phone, but even if he did, I’m not sure he would have done any of those things. Scripture says he simply “rose and went.” (verse 27)
Makes me think about Abraham when God told him to sacrifice Isaac.
Or when Jesus called out to James and John, “Follow Me.”
Or when an angel woke Joseph up in the middle of the night, “Flee to Egypt.”
In each instance, like with Philip, God said….
No questions asked.
No waiting, planning, or second guessing.
Just pure, simple, IMMEDIATE obedience.
As a result, God did amazing things.
In Acts, God had prepared a divine appointment for Philip.
There on the road was “an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure.”
The angel instructed, “Go over and join his chariot.” (verse 29)
Again, Philip obeys.
He doesn’t stop to play out scenarios in his head or worry about offending him or
He just goes.
Approaching the chariot, Phillip hears the man reading in Isaiah, about Jesus.
The man had questions.
Philip had answers.
Like it was meant to be!
Philip explains the Scriptures, tells him about Jesus, and the Ethiopian eunuch believes!
As if God planned it, at that very moment, they came upon water, giving Philip the opportunity to baptize his new brother.
As the eunuch comes up out of the water, an angel whisks Philip away, and the men never see each other again. The eunuch continued on his way rejoicing.
I can almost guarantee you, he told his friends and family what happened.
“It was crazy. I was sitting in the chariot, reading the scroll and all of a sudden this strange man appeared and asked if I needed help understanding the passage. Actually, I did! I was so confused, but he answered all my questions! I gave my life to Jesus, and then we passed some water, so I got baptized! But when I came out of the water, the dude was gone! He vanished!”
And remember, the Ethiopian was a court official.
I’m going to guess he also shared his incredible story at the palace.
Butlers and maids.
EVERYONE, even the queen herself, heard alllllll about it.
One act of obedience, and God used a single man to spread the gospel throughout Africa.
How many lives were impacted because Philip went to the road?
How was history changed because Philip ran up to the chariot?
Philip didn’t have any special powers.
He wasn’t an extraordinary man.
BUT the extraordinary GOD used him to do powerful, extraordinary things.
What if we were like Philip?
What if we surrendered our plans and started each day with,
“Here I am…use me however you need.”
What if we were willing to come alongside others in our lives, regardless of race, economic status, sexuality, or religious beliefs?
What if we were ready to hear their stories and listen to their questions?
What if we were ready to explain the hope we have in Jesus?
You don’t need a special suit or incredible imaginations like the Wild Kratt brothers to be a heroine. If you believe in Jesus, YOU have super powers.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS ALREADY IN YOU,
LIVING AND ACTIVE,
READY TO DO POWERFUL, EXTRAORDINARY THINGS…
if you are ready and willing!
What if we say YES to God…no matter what?
Can you imagine?!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!