Crazy Amazing Chariot-in-the-Desert Encounters, Anyone?

7 surprising lessons from philip

Ever had an encounter with a chariot driver in the desert? Nope. Me neither.

Not saying this encounter should be our model for evangelism. Just saying if you want to learn a thing or two {or seven} about evangelism, take it from Philip.

1. Make it a habit. Gospel-sharing was Philip’s life. He went from one place to another spreading the life-changing message about Jesus. Maybe you can’t drop everything you do every day to share the gospel with people. But what if you wake up and get out of bed and walk down the stairs or out the door with the express goal of sharing the gospel with everyone you meet. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle, and it’s radical and doable.

Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. When they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized. And as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea. 8:5,12,40

2. Go where God leads. An angel told Philip where to go. Now maybe you don’t experience such divine instruction every day. But maybe you do.

What if we all do, and we just don’t take the time to hear and respond. Open your eyes to the options you haven’t yet considered, and when something inside you says, “Go”?  Then go. That little voice ain’t coming from Satan, and it most certainly ain’t coming from you.

Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south.” 8:26

3. Go to crazy places. A desert wouldn’t be my first choice, but that’s exactly where the angel told Philip to go. God knows where the ready hearts are, so get ready for some really bizarre, random encounters {of course, the craziest place may be your own home, or the one next door}. I’ve had gospel conversations {planned and unplanned} at the park and on a city bus that will blow your mind. Try a parade, the airport, the random person sitting next to you at any given moment, subdivisions, estates, the ghetto, remote villages, skyscrapers, public attractions, museums, islands, the pouring rain, the freezing cold, the hard of hearing, the mentally disabled, the young child. Where there is a heart beating, there is a need for the gospel. The resources are inexhaustible and the opportunities never-ending.

“Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. And he rose and went. 8:26-27

4. Trust God to work. Unbeknownst to Philip, there was a guy trying to figure out what the Bible said at that very moment. In a chariot. In a desert. The perfect opportunity Philip never saw coming.

And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 8:27-28

5. Take the initiative. Rarely will someone just ask you to share, so you’ll likely have to start the conversation.

And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 8:29-30

6. Ask questions. Literally the best evangelism tool in the Book. When you don’t know what to say, ask questions.

“Do you live around here? How long have you lived in this area? Do you go to church anywhere? Did you grow up in church? Do you consider yourself a Christian? What does that mean to you? What do you think about eternity? Do you think you’ll go to heaven when you die? Why?”

The next thing you know, you’ve had a 10-minute conversation with a random stranger. And they did all the talking.

And then . . . “Do you mind if I share with you what the Bible says about how you can find meaning in life and know for certain where you’ll spend eternity?”

Boom.

So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 8:30

7. Open your mouth. Okay, so maybe you let them say their piece first. But there comes a point where you must do the talking. Because the gospel is word. You can’t simply live it, or smile about it, or refer to it. You must share the gospel itself.

Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. 8:35

{And then he baptized him. In the nearby water. In the desert. Don’t ask me how that happened.}

Ready for some crazy amazing chariot-in-the-desert encounters?? Be careful what you pray for . . .

[image credit: unsplash.com]

 


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