‘Guidance in the Spirit’
The gospels frequently show Jesus as being ‘led by the Spirit’, and the conversion of this senior Ethiopian official closely mirrors this experience. Philip, responding to the Holy Spirit, connects with this man who is seeking God, and enables him to understand the scripture passage he has been reading – leading to his conversion and baptism. It is noticeable that, as with John Baptist and Jesus, it is Isaiah’s prophecy that provides the fuel for this vision and message.
As we recognise the need for the teaching ministry of Jesus to be rediscovered today, we need to become more attentive to the Holy Spirit, and grow our capacity to interpret the scriptures both in personal ministry to individuals, and in corporate teaching and preaching.
We need to ask some questions of ourselves:
What experience do we have the Lord’s leading and guiding us to be in the right place at the right time?
Are there times when we have been aware of the Lord ‘working at both ends’?
What can we learn from the way that Philip ministers to the Ethiopian?
Do we fully appreciate the way in which God can use the scriptures to enthuse and challenge people?
How effective is our personal teaching and nurture ministry to individuals who are seeking God’s path? How can we improve this?