February 9: Listen to the Spirit

Read Acts 8:26-40

Not all of your chances to share Jesus will end the way Philip’s did with this man riding in that first-century chariot. Not every conversation in which you offer a stranger an invitation to Christ and our church will end with their conversion and baptism. I am guessing that you realize that. I am stating the obvious. That point is clear.

But there is something about this story that is less clear. It is packaged in verse 29. “The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’” Okay, here is my question: How did the Spirit communicate that to Philip? Did he hear an audible voice? Was there writing in the sand? Did the Spirit communicate through a nagging feeling, an impression? I wish the Bible were clearer. But then again, if we were told how the Spirit spoke, we might limit the ways He speaks to us to that one expression. We might only listen for that kind of voice. We might miss other ways in which He prompts us.

But beyond the question of “How did the Spirit speak to Philip?” there is another question that plagues me. “Do I hear the Spirit speak to me?” Would you recognize the voice of the Spirit if He spoke to you? Wait a minute. That last “would you recognize if” statement could seem to communicate the idea that the Spirit’s involvement in my life seldom happens. That is not consistent with the description Jesus gives of the Spirit’s involvement in our lives in John 14-16. He describes “another Counselor” who is incredibly active in the hearts and lives of people. So that leads us back to the original question. Assuming that the Spirit wants to direct me into outreach encounters, am I listening for and recognizing His voice?

So, here’s the challenge for today, and every day. Expect the Spirit’s involvement in your life. Listen for His prompting today that nudges you to get close to someone else and be willing to talk about your relationship with Jesus. Listen for the Spirit.


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