Devotional: ‘The Holy Spirit Said…’  

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As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.”  So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia. The eunuch had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and he was now returning. Seated in his carriage, he was reading aloud from the book of the prophet Isaiah.  The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.”  Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.  (Acts 8:26-31)

I like to use my imagination whenever I read scripture. I am careful to not add things that would be contrary to the original meaning, nor to consider my opinion as being as important as what the Spirit has inspired. Yet I like for God’s Word to come alive as I read it.

Therefore, I wonder if Philip knew that it was an angel that spoke to him. Hebrews 13:2 teaches us that sometimes we encounter angels without knowing it. I also wonder how the Spirit spoke to Philip and told him to approach this particular chariot. Did Philip hear an audible voice or was it something like an inner intuition?

Recently I had a unique experience. As I was driving by the hospital, I saw two women standing outside of the Emergency Room. I can’t explain how I knew this, but I felt as though the Holy Spirit was telling me to stop and pray with them. So, I parked my vehicle, took out my New Testament, and approached them. As they looked up and saw me, I smiled and told them that I was a pastor. A look of relief then swept across their faces. They told me about their elderly mother in the Emergency Room and the health problems she was having. I asked them if I could pray and they readily agreed. When I finished praying, I saw tears in their eyes. I told them that the Lord wanted them to know that He loved them and that He was with them. They thanked me and then I went on my way.

Who knows what great adventure God has in store for us today. Perhaps He will use us to say a prayer. Perhaps He will use us to say a word of encouragement. Perhaps He will use us to help someone come to Christ.

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