Another mark of the Spirit in the Early Church was His clear and unmistakable guidance. Since the formation of the Church was a divine movement, it also needed divine guidance. After persecution arose through the stoning of Stephen, the church in Jerusalem was scattered. Where would they go and continue the work God had begun? Philip was one of those chosen in Acts 6 because he was “of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (6:3) who “went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ” (8:4).
In this moment of sorrow and scattering for the Church, Philip found ways to keep spreading the Good News! “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.” This is a desert place” (Acts 8:26). There was no hesitation with Philip; “And he rose and went.” God had something planned for Philip that would push the gospel into territory where it had never been heard. Philip’s listening ear for the direction of the Lord and his obedient heart made this assignment end “when they came up out of the water [of baptism], the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).
The Spirit will not work where there are stubborn minds and hearts. He is looking for willing, submissive persons who realize God has a much bigger plan than what we see in our circumstances. The surprises that God wants to show us are only seen after we yield ourselves to the Spirit.
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