ALONG A DESERT ROAD
"Philip, are you sure? This just doesn't make sense!" That is what Philip's friends might have said to him when he said he was leaving the great revival in Samaria to go into the desert. Right in the middle of a great spiritual outpouring, "...the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert" (Acts 8:26).
At the Word of the Lord, Philip obeyed, leaving a flourishing revival to go into the desert. For what, he did not yet know. Sometimes, God will call you from a busy productive ministry to one that seems less promising. Sometimes--as in Philip's case--God will not explain the reasons or details as to why you are to move on. But at the Word of the Lord, you must go because there are spiritually hungry people waiting for you in the desert:
And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (Acts 8:27-29)
The same God who guides you into the desert will show you what to do when you get there:
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man2? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. (Acts 8:30-38)
Philip left a city-wide revival to go into the desert to reach one man with the Gospel. Never be too busy with ministering to the masses that you neglect ministry to an individual. The man to whom Philip ministered became a vital link for the gospel to spread to Ethiopia and from there throughout all of modern-day Africa.
What amazing encounter does God have planned for you along your desert road? Go there at His direction, respond in His timing, and you will be amazed at the miraculous results.