ACTS 8:26-27: “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is a desert place. 27 And he rose and went.”
OBSERVATION: What made the Book of Acts so dynamic? Why did countless miracles take place through the lives of the apostles and believers? This is a question that I have heard asked and discussed countless times. “Oh, if only we could recapture the dynamics of the Book of Acts!”, I and others have cried. What is the difference between then and now?
I do not think it is some “thing” that we can identify and emulate. We always want to find the “5 Keys” that we can put into a book and follow. It is not some “thing”, but rather an “intangible” that we miss. I believe it is the “inner condition” of the heart. When we read stories about modern day missionaries in countries that are opposed to the Gospel we discover the same dynamics and the same outbreak of the miraculous. What “intangible” can we identify from both that can give us insight into our question – “How can we recapture the dynamic of the Book of Acts?”
I believe the “intangible” that rises to the top is dependence – “utter dependence”! The apostles and believers were traveling unchartered territory. They literally did not know what they were doing. They were daily, moment by moment, calling upon the Lord for His direction and the leading of the Holy Spirit. And asking – they received! The Lord continued to lead and guide them, step by step, into His will. As they discovered His will they experienced His power and the Lord’s purposes were established. People were saved, healed, and delivered. There was only one book to consult – the Holy Scriptures! There was only one discipline to practice – Prayer!
The Lord led Phillip to the Ethiopian Eunuch, and He also showed Phillip what to do – “29 And the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” The result was a “Divine Encounter”. Phillip was not shooting from the hip. Philipp was entering into the revealed will of God, and doing so he encountered the purposes and power of God. The Ethiopian came to understanding and faith in Jesus Christ, was baptized in water, and greatly rejoiced. As for Phillip – the Lord caught him up to his next Spirit directed assignment.
Today we have learned to depend upon so many things other than the leading of the Holy Spirit through prayer and the Word of God. We have books to consult, experience to draw from, and strategic plans to follow. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these – unless they substitute our utter dependence upon the leading of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. When we have exhausted everything and it does not work – then we cry out to the Lord. What would happen in our hearts, lives, and churches if we laid everything down and cried out to the Lord first? What would happen if we rediscovered “utter dependence” upon the Holy Spirit?
Lord, this morning I confess that I have depended on “things” more than upon You. My mind is always trying to discover the “next step”. May I come to the place where I lay down all the “things” that I am clinging to and cling only to You. May I come to You in “utter dependence”, and coming may I hear within my spirit – “This is the way, walk ye in it”! Engage my heart with the still small voice of Your Holy Spirit, and hearing, give me grace and faith to obey! In Jesus Name!