Yesterday morning I spoke to our middle schoolers at Mountainview about building relationships of influence with others. To help underscore the point, I relayed the story of Philip and the chariot-riding eunuch from Ethiopia (Acts 8:26-40).
This particular part stands out: “The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and walk along beside the carriage.’ Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ The man replied, ‘How can I, unless someone instructs me?‘ And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him” (Acts 8:27-31, emphasis mine).
Each day we are surrounded by people who are on a journey, whether they know it or not. Some are actively seeking answers, looking for hope. Others are on the journey but have no idea what they are looking for.
All around us are people asking the same question: “How can I ______ (you fill in the blank), unless someone instructs me?”
Could it be that God has placed a co-worker in your office because you have a life experience that will help them understand better God’s heart for them?
Perhaps you have a neighbor who is drowning their sorrows with the help of a different spirit, when you have the Holy Spirit. In their own way, they may be asking you for help.
Will you walk alongside their carriage?
After sitting with the eunuch and walking him through the Good News about Jesus, the eunuch is baptized and Philip is teleported to the town of Azotus (“the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away”). I can’t promise you’ll be teleported to Azotus, or even Cleveland. But you will have the experience of a lifetime.