4. "Lord, I will go!"
Philip receives a strange order from the lord. He must exchange the fruitful field of work in Samaria for a lonely road without knowing what awaits for him there.
Many people would have said "No!" They would think that the Lord had made a mistake. They would act as if they had not heard the
command. They would have stayed in Samaria. Listen to what Philip did.
Complete the verse yourself.
(NKJ) So he (Philip) _____________ and ___________.
Obedience is Not Automatic! The servant of the Lord obeys the command. He prepares himself to go. We must repeat: this is remarkable! Obedience does not come automatically. It costs something to obey. No wonder that it is such a rare thing these days.
We live in a time in which authority is
challenged and held in contempt. Many parents exclaim in despair, "The children have us beaten! They refuse to obey." Teachers experience more and more problems with discipline.
lt is easy to say: "I am not a slave! I do as l please. I refuse to listen to others. I am my own master!"
Faith Is Obedience
Philip, by contrast, obeyed at once. Why?
Because he accepted that it was God who spoke to him through the angel. And Philip had
faith in God!
Faith was no strange word to him. Faith is obedience and Philip knew it. Philip honoured God and acknowledged his authority over him. He was willing to obey Him. He bowed before the Bible. He allowed God's Word, in fact, to prescribe to him what to do.
And so he was immediately obedient. He accepted God's authority without hesitation or questioning.
God Knows Best!
Of course Philip didn't understand everything. On the contrary, it was
certainly very difficult to understand why he had to leave his work in Samaria so suddenly. However, Philip had a1ready learned that it is not so important for a person to understand at once all about God's ways of working. Sometimes we understand for the first time only much later. We are so shortsighted, our vision so limited! We just need to know the first step.
But for this very reason we must obey! God knows what we do not know.
Another Obedient Man!
the Old Testament we read of another person who obeyed God's command without question. He was Abraham. We read of him in Genesis 12: The Lord said that he had to leave his fatherland and move to a land which God would show him. Abraham obeyed.
At that point Abraham did not know why God wanted him to leave his fatherland. Only later would he discover that the Lord wanted to give his descendants a beautiful new land. They would be God's own people. Nevertheless he obeyed God's command,
because he was a man of faith. He knew that God never makes a mistake.
A few years later the Lord tested Abraham's faith again. He ordered him to tie his only son alive to an altar (a pile of stones on which sacrifices were offered) and to burn him as an offering to the Lord (read Genesis 22 in your Bible). Abraham could not see what God wanted to achieve by this. It must have been an extremely difficult thing for him. And yet be obeyed the command. Only when he was about to kill his
son on the altar, did God stop him. He had proved that he was ready to obey the Lord, even if he did not understand why he had to do it.
READ WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT ABRAHAM
Turn to Hebrews 11:8 and 17-18 in the New Testament. Complete these sentences:
1. By __________ Abraham ____________ the call to go out to a land destined for himself and his heirs, and left home without ___________ where he was to go.
2. By __________ Abraham, when the test came,
___________ up Isaac; for he reckoned that ____________ had power even to raise from the dead.
Obedience Demands That I Do Something
Philip, like Abraham, was a person of faith. Therefore he obeyed God. Philip's faith was not just a pious prayer, a hymn or an impressive sermon. No, it was action! He prepared and went!
No wonder that Philip experienced the guidance of the Holy Spirit in such a direct way. Listen to what the Bible says in Acts 5:32: God gives the
Holy Spirit (that is how it reads) to those who obey Him. This great truth shines clearly in the story of Philip. Therefore the Holy Spirit worked so powerfully through him, as we shall soon see.
Questions to Answer
1. What did Philip do when he received the instructions from the Lord? Why did he do this?
2. Why did the Lord command Abraham to sacrifice his son?
3. On what grounds was Abraham ready to obey God?
4. What must we do if the Lord gives us a clear instruction?