An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Arise and go south” … And he arose and went; then he encountered an Ethiopian eunuch … And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” Acts 8:26–29
Technically, this is not a promise. But it does illustrate what seems to be the normal experience of Christians who are “filled with faith and the Holy Spirit” as Philip was. Certainly it coheres with Joel’s promise of the Holy Spirit’s much more active role after Pentecost: We can expect God to initiate guidance as we are going about the tasks he has given us. We can expect specific instructions regarding our ministry and its role in the extension of the Gospel. But the expectations are not all on our side. God has expectations as well. He expects us to delight in his design for his creation. Isn’t this what we proclaim when we are baptized into Jesus’ name, that we declare our allegiance to his reign over God’s kingdom and our alignment with his purposes? He expects us to acknowledge his wisdom regarding timing and the possibility of success, for “at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” He expects us to follow where he leads and when he leads. And, he expects us to rejoice. Isn’t this is perfectly reasonable, if we have entrusted our lives forever into his care?
Father, it is very unusual in our culture to expect to hear your Spirit whispering in my ear, or to receive a message from an angel. Make me willing to follow your lead, confident in your perfect plan, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.