“It is easier to tell where you are going when you are on the move.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 3, 2021
Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. Acts 8:26-27a, NRSV
In Acts 8, we encounter a well-loved story of the New Testament in which Philip encounters the Ethiopian eunuch who had big questions of faith and the meaning of Scripture. This man longed to know and encounter God, and knew the Scriptures to be a faithful guide, yet he was unable to make sense of them or know how they related to his own life and faith journey. Philip, a faithful disciple of our Lord, was able to come alongside this man and show him what he was unable to see in and of himself, namely, that the Old Testament finds its fulfillment and ultimate meaning in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Important and central as this undoubtedly is, we must first realize the act of obedience that preceded this encounter and enabled this moment of conversion to take place. Here, an angel of the Lord appeared to Philip and told him to “get up and go.” No context, no further details, no rationale for why or when. Just, “go.”
How difficult it is to obey without first gathering all of the facts! How deeply we struggle to take a step of faithfulness without first knowing every possible variable or outcome. And yet, if we are to be faithful disciples of Christ, like Philip, we must obey first, and seek to understand as we go. If Philip had not first been quick to obey, this beautiful story that has inspired Christians for centuries would likely have never happened. The eunuch would have continued in his confusion, and Philip would have lost an opportunity to be used by the Lord for his kingdom purposes.
There is also a closely related truth that we must tend to in our own lives: it is easier to tell where you are going when you are on the move. However, how often do we live in a state of analysis paralysis? We seek the leading hand of the Lord in our lives, yet we struggle to get up and go, to discern as we go, not waiting in our passivity or inactivity. As Micah 6:8 reminds us, the Lord has shown us what he desires of his people – “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” – if in doubt, step out boldly in this direction, and trust the Lord will meet you as you do!
Father, thank you that you meet us and lead as we respond to your call. Give us the courage and faith to get up and go, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where are you stuck in your faith when instead you are meant to get up and go?
Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 119:133; Mark 8:34
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