It's Monday. Are you ready for an adventure?
I am not talking rock climbing in Sierra, Nevada, speed racing on the Bonneville Salt Flats, or the adrenalin rush of a Class V whitewater plunge down the Colorado River. Nah . . . this is much bigger than that. I would like you to think about yielding yourself and your day to the will of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8 gives us a picture of what it looks like to sense the whisper of the Spirit. Philip was on assignment from God when he encountered an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. Like a modern-day Minister of Finance, the Ethiopian was a man on the move. He was also curious about the things of God.
We pick up the narrative at Acts 8:27 . . .
He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this:
“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter
and like a lamb before its shearer is silent,
so he opens not his mouth.
In his humiliation justice was denied him.
Who can describe his generation?
For his life is taken away from the earth.”
And the eunuch said to Philip, “About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. Acts 8:27-35
In his book, Just Walk Across The Room, Bill Hybels differentiates between the Circle of Comfort and the Zone of the Unknown. The Circle of Comfort is our safe place. It is familiar territory. We know the folks inside that circle, they know us. Life is comfy cozy there. On the other hand, the Zone of the Unknown is unfamiliar territory. It is the place where people and circumstances are new to us.
When the Spirit whispered to Philip, "Go over and join this chariot," he was telling him to leave his Circle of Comfort and enter into the Zone of the Unknown. Hearing the Spirit's voice, Philip didn't hem and haw. He ran to the Ethiopian's chariot. The result was a life-changing adventure that rocked both their worlds.
Philip was sensitive to the whisper of the Spirit of God. Don't you think God wants us to be just like him? A simple but effective way to get started is to yield ourselves and our day to the Lord in prayer:
This year at Spanish River Church, we are taking time to ask (and answer) the big question: "What is my part in God's great story?" Being sensitive to the Spirit of God is an essential way to keep our hearts engaged in God's bigger plan.
It is Monday. An adventure with God awaits. Pray. Listen for the Spirit's prompting, and watch what happens when you step into the Zone of the Unknown.
"My life is in your hands, God . . ." from Bill Hybels, Just Walk Across The Room. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing Co. 2006, page 37.
For more on The Big Question, check out SRC's series on Colossians, "Every Square Inch." Click here to get this week's message: "Is It Still All About Jesus?"