Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Phillip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is the desert. So, he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians who had charge of all her treasury and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit said to Phillip, “Go near and overtake the chariot.” (Acts 8:26-29)
In the 4th chapter of the Gospel of John, we are witness to Jesus’ meeting with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. What took place there was indeed a divine appointment. That encounter turned out to be enormously fruitful as the woman, and many in the city became believers in the Messiah.
We can also see in the scripture above that Phillip had a very specific spiritual direction about where to go and who to meet. This encounter brought salvation to Candace’s treasurer, and the Christian faith rode home to another land in that chariot.
The Apostle Peter had a vision of animals riding upon a heavenly blanket when staying at Simon the tanner’s house. “While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.’” (Acts 10:19-20) The result of Peter accompanying these men was the Gentiles believing and receiving the Holy Spirit and life.
The Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, ran right smack dab into a divine appointment on the Damascus road. From that moment on, the Apostle Paul’s life became a succession of divine appointments. Scripture confirms this time and time again throughout Acts and Paul’s epistles. For example, Paul and Timothy “were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.” (Acts 16:6-7) Then by a vision, Paul heard the call to Macedonia to preach the gospel to them.
How about you? Have you had any visions or angelic visits instructing you where and who to engage in the things of God? How about after Phillip preached Jesus to the Ethiopian and baptized him, and the Spirit of the Lord caught Phillip away and set him down in Azotus – ahh, you been caught away lately and found over yonder? Just think we could get a whole lot of evangelism done and solve the energy crisis at the same time.
Although we may not experience such dramatic and direct manifestations since the apostolic age ended, the Spirit-led walk continues to be by appointment only. We do not just happen to be in another person’s life. We do not just accidentally bump into that old acquaintance when they’re going through a tough time. God does not do “just happens” nor does He ever do “just accidents.”
The Spirit is still saying, “Go near…go with them…go to…do not go there.” Are we listening to His directions? Are we ready to “preach Jesus” to our Ethiopian, our Gentiles, our Macedonians? We must be perceptive, prepared and present for our daily appointments.