Last year I was able to shed forty pounds! It was an absolute blessing from the hand of God. Did it require effort? Yes. Was it difficult at times? Absolutely. But the crux of the matter is that it was God's gift. He is the One who provided the motivation and means to make my dream come true--for His honor and glory. It was all His doing. Even so, it is easy to become complacent, and I have rediscovered some unwanted weight the last few months. I'm still wearing the same clothes, but they've gotten a bit uncomfortable.
This was in the back of my mind as I sat down to read about Philip's interaction with the Ethiopian. As Philip went about his daily business, he remained sensitive to the Spirit of the Lord. He obeyed immediately and completely (Acts 8:29-30). His obedience not only put him in the physical proximity for further obedience, it also placed him in spiritual proximity for continued obedience (Acts 8:35-38).
When I am obedient in personal choices, in what God has openly revealed through His word, I am much more prepared to share the gospel. My mind is already stayed on Him by His Word. I am actively seeking to do His will, and I am much quicker in my response to outside influences as God gives opportunity. It is much like getting dressed for a special occasion.
If I have been eating right, exercising regularly, and caring for my physical being it is much easier--even enjoyable--to slip into special clothes and get dolled-up for an important occasion. But when I have eaten impulsively and failed to exercise or care for myself, it is a chore to get dressed. The clothes that I wear less often and that have special significance are tight and uncomfortable--revealing bulges I try to keep hidden.
To share the good news of Christ is a special occasion, a joyous, momentous event regardless of how often it happens. But if we are honest, too many times we have failed to obey in the small, daily events of life--and it shows in our presentation of Christ. We are uncomfortable with the consequences of our disobedience. Our bulges are evident, and our unrepentant choices mar the image of His testimony. It is a painful, awkward task to share that which we are unprepared.
Oh, to be obedient in the small, daily callings so that we will be ready to obey immediately and completely, in a God-honoring way, to the larger calling of God. May we evidence the image of His Son as we clothe ourselves with Christ (Romans 13:14). Praise God that Philip was willing and ready, a sensitive servant.