So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. – Acts 8:30–31
As one of the top blokes in Jerusalem church, Philip was inevitable busy with the new-planted Jerusalem mega-church. If he had had his own way, he would have stayed in Jerusalem helping to disciple the 3000 new converts. Plus, he was one of the seven appointed to be in charge of the social justice department in the church (Acts 6). However, the Spirit had a different plan for him.
Persecution broke out and Philip was scattered to Samaria. What did he do there? Well, he preached the Word. Talking about the passion of carrying the flame wherever one goes. Having a huge success in Samaria, again the Spirit had a detour plan for him. Where to this time? The desert. He would have wondered, “Why the desert?” And hypothetically, the Spirit might have answered, “Because there was this one guy I want you to reach out to.”
“Yup. One guy.”
What did Philip do? He went willingly. One would be reminded of how Moses tried to argue his way out from God’s plan. This is not the case with Philip. There was no record of him arguing with the Spirit. He simply went. Gone with the wind, per se.
In that desert, the Spirit told him, “You see that chariot? Go and talk to the guy there.” Philip ran to the chariot, and he met with an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading Isaiah. Philip, not wasting his time, simply asked if he understood what he was reading. The answer was simple, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” Philip helped him, and long story short, the eunuch knew Jesus, he was baptized, and he rejoiced over this newfound faith.
Today, there are thousands of people around us who are quietly asking the same thing: “How can I, unless someone guides me?” They want to know the truth. They want to find out what God’s plan is for them. They want to find hope. But the question is the same: “How can I, unless someone guides me?” My question to you is this: Will you be that someone? Will you be Philip to somebody? Will you go, following the leading of the Spirit, and ask an unbeliever to read the Bible with you? “Who?”, you may ask. Anybody… really. Friends, families, co-workers… surely one of them would be a ‘low hanging fruit’ that is ready for us to harvest, if only we are willing to simply ask.
Yes, some will reject us. Yes, some will even ridicule us. But know that this is the Spirit’s work, not ours. The Spirit will be the one who stirs the hearts of men and women. We simply follow His leading. And you’d never know… one of them would actually say, “How can I? Nobody has bothered to guide me before.”