FISHERS OF MEN (Pt.5)

“Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot'” (Acts 8:29 NASB).

THE WAY OF THE SPIRIT

“Put up your Book. Put up your tracts. Let’s go fishing!” These were the words I heard from the Lord Jesus. As a young believer, He began to show me that the key to sharing my faith was being attentive and available for the opportunities He placed before me. Please don’t misunderstand me. He was not saying that these “tools” were not helpful. Rather, He was teaching me a truth that I have never forgotten…In everything we do that bares fruit for the Lord He has already preceded us.  He loves the lost and the wayward individual more than we possibly can comprehend. They were made in His image (And albeit marred due to sin and rebellion) are cherished by a loving father longing for their return home. Jesus as the “Good shepherd” goes ahead of us preparing hearts for “divine encounters”. It has been my happy experience to see many put their trust in Jesus for salvation when they welcomed God’s message of love for them personally.

PARTNERSHIP

Becoming “fishers of men” is a partnership with the Holy Spirit Who knows our whole life history. He not only knows us (better than we know ourselves!) but He loves us with an everlasting love.  And He will take our unique capacity and prepare us individually to bring others to Christ. This is what we find in the story of Phillip in Book of Acts, Chapter 6.

SELECTED TO SERVE

Phillip was one of the seven men chosen to become one of those who served the new community of Jewish followers of Yeshua/Jesus. Their task was to see that none of the widows were neglected in the distribution of food or supplies. The thing that is astonishing is what qualified him to be selected for this natural and needed task. “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task”(Acts 6:3 NASB). Being “full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom” was a requirement to minister in natural things.  God’s ways are higher than our ways.  The “natural precedes the spiritual”. So it was true for Phillip.

SPIRITUAL SERVICE

We read of God’s enlargement of Philip’s opportunity for ministry. Because of persecution many of the Jerusalem believers left the City. “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs that he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city”(Acts 8:4-8 NASB).

God tested his servant and used the persecution for his promotion. Such is God’s way. From waiting on tables to becoming one who was a “fisher of men” in Samaria (Not forgetting that in John Chapter 4, Yeshua/Jesus had preceded him into Samaria ).

IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT

Samaria was just the first “launch out for a catch” for Phillip.  The former deacon is now known(& honored) as “Phillip the Evangelist”(Acts 21:8).  God was pleased not only to honor Phillip with a willing servant’s heart but He also unlocked a servant’s heart with the gift to win the lost with signs attesting to his words.  God gave him a heart like his Lord, who was willing to “leave the ninety-nine and go after the one” lost sheep.

“JOIN THAT CHARIOT”

He left the great Samaritan revival to join himself to an Ethiopian Eunuch’s Chariot (Read Acts 8:26-39). The venue seemed smaller but the eternal consequences were larger. Historians tell us that as a result of the one conversion of the Ethiopian Eunuch that the message of the Kingdom of God spread wider and advanced with a greater speed than it had previously in its the spiritual infancy.

AVAILABLE TO GOD

This rapid advance did not take place because of a great apostle but because of a humble believer, who got his start by being honored to serve His Lord and the believing Jewish community by “waiting on tables”.  Phillip’s station in life was not a handicap. He proved that “God is no respecter of persons but a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”(Hebrews 11:6).

Jesus’ promise is the same to anyone who will make him or herself available when He calls. They only need to be willing to follow Him as “fishers of men”. He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8 NASB).

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: