PERSONALITIES GUIDED BY GOD                    Acts 8:26-40

26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” 27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian[a] eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, 28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. 29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” 30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. 31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 This is the passage of Scripture the eunuch was reading:

“He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,
    and as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice.
    Who can speak of his descendants?
    For his life was taken from the earth.”[b]

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” 35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?” [37] [c] 38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing. 40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea. Acts 8:26-40

The Bible is full of accounts which describe how men and women were guided by God. Look into the Old Testament. Think, for example, of Abraham’s chief servant, Eliezer, seeking a bride for Isaac. Or the stories of Moses, Samuel and the prophets.

Look also into the New Testament. There too are the most amazing stories of divine guidance. One of the most remarkable is the account which we have read today of how Philip was guided to the Ethiopian eunuch. And what about Ananias being guided to the newly converted Saul to pray that he would be healed of his blindness (Acts 9:10-19)?

Then there is the story of Simon Peter being guided to Macedonia (Acts 16:6,10) and so on. If God’s guidance does not extend to the details of our lives then all these stories are false. But they are not false; they are evidence that God does direct His devoted and trustworthy servants.

The most magnificent example of One who was guided by God is, of course, Jesus. No serious reader of the Gospels can come away with the idea that Jesus was not guided. He said, If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own (John 7:17). In Gethsemane, although He was in greats anguish, He could still say Not as I will, but as you will (Matthew 26:39). And He encouraged His disciples to know and follow the will of God when He taught them to pray. Your will be done (Matthew 6:10) a prayer which, as one commentator points out, presupposes the possibility of knowing that will, and knowing it, not as a gelatinous mass of vague sentiment, but with some concreteness and precision.

O Father, help me grasp more clearly than ever that any of Your disciples may have the privilege of knowing the divine will first hand. I am so grateful that nothing is too trivial for You to take an interest in. Amen.

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