June 12 - Spiritual GPS
Since GPS was introduced, many drivers do not need to take their fold-up maps along for guidance. Some GPS can warn of traffic congestions and offer alternative routes for the drivers to follow. It is especially helpful for those who do not have any sense of direction, cannot tell north from south and east from west. Like many inhabitants of the city of Nineveh in Jonah’s day, we cannot tell our right hand from our left. In some of the intersections of our lives, we do not know whether to turn left or turn right.
Philip was enjoying the use of a spiritual GPS, the Holy Spirit Himself. He was given turn-by-turn directions from the angel and the Holy Spirit so he was able to accomplish what God had sent him to do. The angel of the Lord told him to rise up and go toward the south, to the road that went down from Jerusalem to Gaza. It was very specific and there was probably only one road from Jerusalem to Gaza and Philip could not have missed it. The direction of the Lord is always clear, unambiguous and direct. Once you follow His directions, you would not be lost.
The second direction went to Philip as he was on his way. The Holy Spirit told him to approach the chariot of the Ethiopian eunuch. This is a follow-up instruction to the first direction. If Philip did not follow it the first time, this second direction would not have come to him. God seldom reveals the whole plan for us but wants us to follow Him step-by-step, turn-by-turn. Once Philip obeyed the second command, then he heard the eunuch reading the Book of Isaiah and the rest was quite automatic. God had sent Philip to bring the gospel to Ethiopia through the eunuch. Because Philip followed instructions, the mission was accomplished.
Once the eunuch was baptized, the Spirit of God carried Philip away. I am sure his spiritual GPS would later direct him to go through all the towns from Azotus to Caesarea, preaching the gospel as he went. Philip is just like us, having his own will, his own likes and dislikes. Like Jonah, he could have rebelled and went the other way, thinking that his GPS has gone wrong at some point of his life. The value of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness might have prevented us from following the Lord.
Many have had difficulties making decisions like what to do, where to go, whom to marry and how many children they should have. It is tiring to make all the decisions in life. Even when you have a spouse, the task is not easily shared. It is confusing to try to remember landmarks, to read the positions of the sun, moon and the stars, or to read the old maps of life. God wants you to live a life that is free of worry. How about you only have to listen to God’s GPS directions and follow Him for every turn of your life? He will never let you down and you shall arrive at your destination.
Ps 132:1-5 1 Kgs 9:1-10:29 Acts 8:14-40 Prov 17:2-3