How do you know that what you’re doing is the right thing to do in this moment? How do you know that your actions will be useful? When do you sense that God’s Spirit is guiding you, and what does that feel like?
I can identify a few times in my life when I felt that God’s Spirit was leading me to do the right thing: helping a person who was struggling, listening to my spouse and children at key moments, swallowing my words when they would not be helpful. Without God’s help, I’m not sure I would have responded to those situations in the best way.
Philip encounters people in Samaria who listened eagerly as he proclaims Jesus (v. 6). This is an effective moment of ministry for him. He is doing exactly what God’s Spirit asks, and after he follows through with this work, there was great joy in that city (v. 8). Philip must have felt satisfied about following God’s leadership, and surely God is pleased with Philip.
Aside from the results, what makes this experience astounding is Philip’s commitment to be faithful in a time of fear. Just verses earlier, Stephen was stoned to death, the devout bury him and continue to grieve, and Saul begins persecuting the church severely. We might expect the church to be quiet and cautious for a season. Instead they, like Philip, listened eagerly to God’s Spirit and minister boldly. And even in a time of grief, this creates great joy.
Reflect on times when you listened eagerly for God’s direction and partnered with God’s Spirit. What do these times teach you about following God’s Spirit now? How do they provide hope and courage for the week ahead?
God, thank you for inviting me to experience the joy of working with you. Help me learn to listen eagerly to your call and to put my trust in you. Amen.