He speaks to me with very specific parallels.
He has spoken to me in this way more times than I can recall.
With God, there are no coincidences. He knows exactly what He is doing.
He knows I get distracted and being direct is the best way to get my attention.
It happened again this week.
I have to record this one because it is so obscure, it might speak to someone else as it did to me.
It might help someone realize God is trying to speak to them.
It might just make you chuckle because how often does God use an Ethiopian eunuch to make His point?
On Sunday, Pastor Justin delivered a message that was out of this world—literally. The spirit was definitely present, without a doubt! The series was the second of two parts, “Live it!” and based in the book of Acts. [Click here to download the podcast]
The focus was on Barnabus as we dug into Acts. We were reading in chapter 9 but Chapter 8 caught my attention—I’m not sure why, but it did. It is the story of the Ethiopian eunuch and there are a few lessons wrapped into this short story. The first is obedience. Philip is told by a Messenger from God to run after a chariot that just passed him. He doesn’t wait for another sign from God or consult his friends; Philip just starts running after the chariot. The writing is so detailed; you can envision him booking it until he catches up to the chariot. He keeps running along side the chariot and begins a conversation with the man from Ethiopia. As the story goes, Philip ends up riding with the man and translating the Hebrew scripture for him. The short story ends with Philip baptizing the man in a river and they part ways. Then the spirit carries Philip away to his next mission.
The story was impactful enough for me to share it on Sunday afternoon. But here is where the parallel jumps to a level of amazing—
Monday evening, I picked up a book from my nightstand. Unfortunately the book brought a tear to my eye rather than an encouraging word to ponder as I drifted off to sleep. I grabbed the next book, “Beyond Words. Daily Reading in the ABC’s of Faith” by Frederick Buechner. I opened the book and there it was, an entry titled, “Ethiopian Eunuch”.
Really? Yes, really! I can’t make this stuff up!!
There are a few reasons why this particular story illustrated, or perhaps, reassured me of some lessons I am in the midst of learning. I will simply ponder them in my heart and giggle a little in my soul. God has a great sense of humor—He speaks in a language I understand. When He offers up a coincidence, I sit up and take notice and pay attention all the more. Here are the many a few lessons in this story:
Obedience: Philip just took off from the excitement of Samaria and did as he was told. I’m reaping blessings from being obedient so much so that I would be afraid to ignore a calling lest I end up in the belly of a whale.
Mentors: Even if we are a highfalutin dignitary, we all need a mentor for guidance. Don’t be so filled with pride that you miss this, smarty pants.
Mentors: We all need to BE a mentor to someone. Pastor Justin spoke of this on Sunday—Are you willing to pour into someone who has the potential to do far greater than you could ever imagine? Do it! [See point 1, Obedience]
One day soon I will write more on the fostering heart. This type of person doesn’t give love or time out of a need to get something in return. It gives like a farmer sowing seed, hoping that seed with flourish and produce fruit. He tends the seed, as best he can, until it grows. It is best if he shares the bounty of his harvest rather than saving it for his own needs. We need to do more in this world without needing anything in return—not even a pat of the back.
Do things just to make a difference.
Do things without anyone knowing.
That’s all for now. I just wanted to share this silly little story to remind you that nothing is coincidental in His plan. Take notice and be in the spirit so you can discern His messages from deception. Pray for me in this matter please. Thanks!
I purchased this book on the recommendation of Jason Gray.