“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. 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, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, 'Go near and overtake this chariot.' So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, 'Do you understand what you are reading?' And he said, 'How can I, unless someone guides me?' And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:26-31
As I read through the verses above and the ones after them which proceed to tell how Philip guided the Ethiopian eunuch to become a believer in Christ, I found it amazing how Philip was so quick to hear God and also so quick to act on what he was instructed to do. I was struck with the following question as I read these verses: If put in the same situation, would I also have the clearness of mind and the readiness of tongue to do the same? It is a question we all must ask ourselves each day, and it is one which we must be prepared to answer if we truly want to call ourselves followers of Christ.
I wonder if Philip had other plans that day which he had to let go when the Lord called him to go on the road out to the desert. I also wonder how Philip was feeling that day, if he was tired when he woke up in the morning or maybe fatigued from the work of the day before. Finally, I wonder if the ministry Philip had been doing up until that time was encouraging to him or discouraging. Was he even feeling up to preaching the Good News of Jesus to another person that day? The one thing though that we do not need to wonder about is Philip's willingness to go and follow the Lord, despite whatever else may have been happening or not happening in his life at that point.
The traps good meaning Christians often fall into are usually one of the following traps of complacency: “I'll do it later.” OR “I am not ready.” OR “I just don't feel up to it.” Obedience is a now thing, not a later to be dealt with thing when we are ready and feeling like being a servant. More so than not, our opportunity is missed if we wait for our obedience to be convenient for us. And, all of the excuses we could come up with as to why obedience at that time or place is just not sensible are not relevant arguments with the God of the universe who already knows more than us about sensibility.
Are you ready today to listen and obey? Am I ready to listen and obey? When it comes down to the wire, none of us are ready if we are apart from the Spirit of God. Only in being one with God and allowing His Spirit to guide us and speak to us are we ever ready to hear and obey His call. Being a light to the world has nothing to do with our credentials but everything to do with the great Creditor, who by the death of Jesus and the blood Jesus shed for our sinful nature which always wants to depart from God and His ways, has given us the ability to do any great and mighty works He may call us into.
Trust is the beginning of obedience and trust gives no excuses. Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” And he was right, both in this world and in the spiritual realm. God desires to use each of us today, so let's be prepared and ready when He calls us to obediently follow His lead.