Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Let’s start with a question. What is, perhaps, the most sought after, but can be most difficult thing to find when we gather as believers? I mean, when we get together to worship and pray and give, what are many of us looking for, but have a struggle finding?
After many years of serving and leading in church, I have to say that the answer is … helpful friendships.
The point of linking the subject of finding friends to the scripture verses above is this: The Spirit of the Lord is actively guiding you and me into new friendships. Can you see that in those two verses? Read them again…
Philip had been growing in the Lord for a while. He had been part of the explosion of growth in and around Jerusalem after Jesus’ resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit. He and his friend, Stephen, were serving at the center of literally thousands of people who first believed in Jesus. One thing we can see about Philip in this passage is that he made himself available to listen to the Spirit’s guidance. That’s exactly what I hope you will do.
The Ethiopian official traveling in the chariot was a person very much like you might meet at a church gathering, or somewhere else along the way. He had responded to the influence of the Holy Spirit just enough to be there, seeking God’s help. The Holy Spirit knew just what to do.
The Spirit spoke to Philip. And, as we have observed, Philip was the kind of Christian who was tuned-in to God’s voice (by the way, the Holy Spirit is the personal presence of God living within believers. Are you letting Him fill you today?) Philip let the Holy Spirit fill him and lead him each day. So when the Spirit whispered the idea into Philip’s soul to go get next to that chariot on the road, Philip did it. The Ethiopian man needed Philip’s friendship that day. Philip came near and pointed the way to Jesus.
Are you available to hear the Spirit? Let me encourage you to ask the Lord, especially when you gather with the church, to put you next to someone who will be helped by your encouragement. Then, keep your soul open for His whisper. You will become a small part of what someone needs on their journey with the Lord: A helpful friend.
Glad to be your friend,
Pastor Rich Marshall