Divine Appointments; January 16, 2023

Acts 8:35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

It struck me as I read this that Philip was doing exactly what Peter admonished us all to do in his first letter: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” (1 Peter 3:15) It was very convenient for Philip that the eunuch was reading a Messianic passage, but if he hadn’t been emotionally and mentally prepared, it still might have been difficult to go into a full Gospel presentation. (Actually, Isaiah 53 is one of the clearest Messianic passages in the whole Old Testament.) The thing is, God sets up appointments for us to be His agents, but we need to be ready for them. We never know how important they might be. As a result of this encounter, this eunuch went home and spread the Gospel, resulting in a body of believers that has continued for the 2000 years since. That was a pretty important “chance encounter!” The thing is, it wasn’t chance at all; Philip was just sensitive and submitted enough to the Holy Spirit to leave Samaria, where his ministry had sparked a revival and he was doubtless getting a lot of love, (Acts 8:5-8) and go to a place where there were very few people at all. Then, he recognized his opportunity/appointment, took advantage of it, and the rest is history. We should greet each day with anticipation, asking God to help us recognize the appointments He has for us, and for the wisdom and anointing to take full advantage of them. Such things probably won’t happen every day, but every day we need to be storing more of God’s Word in our hearts and minds so that we will be prepared for the appointments when they appear, just as Peter said. When God speaks into our heart we need to receive it for ourselves, and at the same time realize that it probably isn’t just for us, but also for others with whom we are to share it. If we will do that we will indeed be ready for the appointments God has lined up for us.

This is very close to home. I have had countless divine appointments, some of which I recognized at the time and some I didn’t. I joke that I prove I’m a preacher by preaching every time I open my mouth, but I really feel every believer should expect that. I must not take myself and my pronouncements too seriously, but at the same time I must remember that God does use human vessels, and He can even use me. Those appointments might not all seem to be “spiritual.” The other day He used me to tell one of Cathy’s therapists (a former student of mine) that his wife is his first priority. I think it caught him off guard, and I pray he will remember and apply it. For over a year now the Lord has been indicating in various ways to both Cathy and me that major changes are coming in the ministry He has for me. I still have little idea what that means, but I am to hold myself ready, no matter how small the “appointment” might seem. I want to spend all of my time every day doing What God desires and intends for me, for His glory.

Father, thank You for how You are working in and around me. Thank You that I was able to make a start on the clutter surrounding the computer I’m working on right now. Help me follow through with that, and deal properly with my study as well. If Your changes for me involve a new residence, I really need to be working! Thank You that my schedule is as open as it is for the next couple of months. Help me indeed do what You desire of me each moment of that time, not being anxious but resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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