I loved teaching at Rock Harbor this weekend.
Going through the Book of Acts series can always be captivating and inspiring. When I was asked to teach the latter part of Acts 8, my heart leapt - I always seem to get the cool texts.
This is a game changing chapter - in fact I framed it as a two part new season opener. Up until Acts 7 the early church was dominated by those who had been with Jesus. But the new landscape changes everything:
Isn't it amazing how often key things happen in the wilderness. God could have gotten the Eunuch and Phillip to meet in a cool little eatery in Jerusalem. But God does some of his deepest work in us in the wilderness - where the noises of the many are silenced to empower us for the voice of one. When I look back at my life, my most impacting moments with the Father have happened in the wilderness. Look at Moses, Abraham, David, even Jesus - all had major wilderness victories. They are orchestrated for our good, not ill. They are not passive but are on the road headed somewhere. They answer the question that we so often pray "there must be more than this". There is, but we often find it in the wilderness with a bible in our hand, a prayer on our lips and a stranger who may bring a prophetic word of clarity. The best way to handle the wilderness is quickly - "hear and obey".
In order to understand this text we need to frame this story is through the lenses of trust. Imagine being Phillip. God has moved dramatically through you, salvations, miracles, deliverances, even big name dudes in the region are coming to faith. Now God [through the angel] says that it is time to move. Can you imagine the confusion for this evangelist? He is to leave a revival to go to a dusty desert road - but he is not told why! Trust reassures me that "God will get us to leave the much and to what may seem little but it will never be less". He did not know that he would meet an eunuch, who would come to faith and take the gospel to the uttermost. He was not to know that his lonely convert would take this good news of Is 53 to Africa for the first time. But he had to trust his Father. God is both providential is his construction of this meeting, but he is also sovereign in his global gospel adventure - lets be part of that.
These are great moments to pause and reflect on how God has used the wilderness in our lives. We somehow feel robbed with these moments, as we subconsciously don't feel like they should exist. The wilderness, finds to souls colliding together around the text. One to be the student, one to be the teacher. Sometimes our wilderness times are for our own soul - getting clarity in contexts of confusion. But sometimes, we are in the wilderness for others - that we might teach them. That is a sign of maturity - "living for the benefit of others'. Where are you know?