Suddenly, a wonderful opportunity arises before you. What will you do with yours?
Have you ever had an unexpected encounter with Jesus on your road? What I call a ‘suddenly’?
It may be a strong impulse to drive a different way on the road or to call someone right away. Often it may be the urge to pray for a person or situation. Whatever the circumstance, the Lord will intervene in our lives and press us with direction, rather like a bit in a horse’s mouth.
However, the gift of being free can also complicate our following His lead. Will we drop everything at that moment and obey? We may shake off that tap on the shoulder with an I’ll do it as soon as I finish this first. But, as the urge to act fades and passes, we may forget our good intentions.
I don’t know about you, but I confess I’ve had those I’m-too-busy-right-now moments. Haven’t we all?
Let’s look at Philip’s suddenly in the book of Acts. In chapter eight, Philip had been preaching salvation and baptizing many people in Samaria. Later, Peter and John joined him to lay hands on the Samaritans to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Afterward, they made a journey back to Jerusalem, preaching in the villages they passed.
Suddenly, an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza” (This is a desert road.) ~ Acts 8:26, NASB.
Philip obeyed the angel without question. There he spied an Ethiopian eunuch (from the court of Queen Candace of Ethiopia) traveling home in a chariot, and the Spirit of the Lord instructed Philip to join him. As the eunuch was reading Isaiah aloud, he invited Philip to sit with him and explain these scriptures:
“He was led as a sheep to slaughter;
And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
So He does not open His mouth.
“In humiliation His judgment was taken away;
Who will relate His generation?
For His life is removed from the earth.” The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” ~ Acts 8:32-34, NASB.
Beginning with that Scripture, Philip preached Jesus Christ to him, and when they came to some water, he stopped the chariot and asked Philip to baptize him.
When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; and the eunuch no longer saw him, but went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he kept preaching the gospel to all the cities until he came to Caesarea ~ Acts 8: 39-40, NASB.
A suddenly from the Lord may be an opportunity to witness to one who is ripe for salvation, just like this eunuch. Leading a person to meet Jesus at the cross is one of the most sacred jobs we believers have.
In whatever way the Lord chooses to move, we should always be on the lookout for a suddenly. Like Philip, let’s be available for His good pleasure and watch Him work wonders in our lives.
Have you ever encountered a suddenly on your road? Would you share your story?