Boldness That Runs

Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ… Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him…‘  And the eunuch said to Philip, ‘About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’  Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.  And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?’ And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away… [to] Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” Acts 8:4-5,26-31,34-40

Once filled with the Holy Spirit, and having tasted persecution that compelled their faith to explode, perhaps with a sense of their time being short, the apostles were spiritually energized to keep pace with their invisible Lord. While we learn little of Philip during Jesus’s earthly ministry, we see him in bold action here. His running was no self-directed compulsion, no restless or aimless vigor, but a willing, eager response to his Master. Available, tuned in to the Spirit, Philip heard and heeded every instruction with zeal. Rise and go? He rose and went. Go and join? He ran and engaged. Come up and guide? He sat and explained the gospel. Wherever God led, by directive or direct placement, Philip boldly, effectively preached.

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What compels my movement, my direction? Do I just get started with untamed zeal, expecting the Lord to bless my efforts? Do I sit back, waiting for others to cajole me into action? Would I be like Philip, ready and waiting, listening for God’s next clear call, and running to meet the challenge, to make the appointment, to see what He will do in and through me? What deterrents need I set aside, how well am I disciplined, to listen and move at His command?

Lord, the place where You are working is the place I want to be. May Your Spirit give me boldness, and keep me on Your path, running Your direction and course. Fulfill Your will in and through me for the good of others and for Your glory.

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