Imagine that you are on your way to work and an angel appears with a train ticket. You quickly turn the car around, head to the station, and run onto the platform just in time to jump on the train. There’s only one other person in the carriage and they need your help, which you are happy to give. In fact, it changes their life. The next thing you know, you are no longer on the train but in the air, flying an executive jet that lands within minutes in a totally new city. What a whirlwind ride!
This is a bit like what happened to a disciple of Jesus named Philip (Acts 8:4-40). Philip went to a city in Samaria and began to preach about Jesus (v.5). Not long after, an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza” (v.26). Then the Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” (v.29). Later, “the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away” (v.39) and he “appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea” (v.40).
Sometimes we might have set off in one direction only for us to be redirected somewhere else. We may even unexpectedly find ourselves in a completely different environment than where we first started. We might be given short notice, be unprepared, and feel disorientated like Philip.
Yet, what is remarkable about Philip’s experience is that changes to his travel plans did not change his mission. It didn’t matter where he was, who he was talking to, or what time of day it was; we see him consistently doing one simple thing—sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus.
Keeping in step with the Holy Spirit can result in a road full of sudden twists and turns. It can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly exciting when it is God directing you. Just keep preaching Jesus wherever He sends you. When He interrupts your best-laid plans with a call to action, you can be confident your obedience will have more significance than you may see this side of eternity.