The Road Less Traveled

October 19th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Melody Merida

Today’s scripture: Acts 8:26-40 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Melody Merida):

Earlier we read about the wonderful things Philip is doing in Samaria. In fact, in verse 8 we read that there was “so much joy in this city” as a result of Philip’s work. So why then would God send an angel to Philip telling him to “go south to the desert road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza”? Shouldn’t he stay in Samaria and do more wonderful work for God? Who wants to travel on a desert road anyway? As it turned out, God had amazing plans for Philip on that desert road.

Philip set out to follow the instructions of the Lord and encountered the Ethiopian eunuch reading the Old Testament while sitting in his chariot. Philip was able to introduce the eunuch to Christ and baptize him that day. But that could just be the beginning of this story. This eunuch was an important official in charge of the treasury of Ethiopia. This is the beginning of the witness “to the ends of the earth” about which Jesus spoke.

What if Philip had decided that he knew better than God and had stayed in Samaria preaching the Gospel? After all, the work that Philip was doing in Samaria was incredible and life-changing for many people.

Most of us would be very critical of Philip had he decided to stay put and continue his work in Samaria — but how often do we face similar choices in our service to God and decide to stay put? How many times do we feel the nudge of God moving us in an uncomfortable direction, so we just plant our feet and rationalize that we can serve God right where we are? What we don’t realize is that God has incredible, mind-blowing things in store if we just trust and answer the call, going in faith where God leads us.

Thought for the day: Are you like Philip, ready to answer the call of God without hesitation — or are you afraid to travel down the desert road to which God is calling you?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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