Obeying the Holy Spirit in Evangelism (another devotional from Sumner Wemp):
“Obey the Spirit,” cried Evan Roberts during the Welsh Revival. To win souls, one must obey the Spirit. “The Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” (v. 29). There is no place for timidity, just obedience. He will give the boldness and wisdom.
There was no hesitancy, “Philip ran thither to him” (v. 30). “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (I Sam. 15:22). The chariot made it obvious this was a man of importance, but Philip went. Jeremiah said, “I cannot speak for I am a child.” God replied, “Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces” (Jer. 1:6-8).
Philip found the Ethiopian reading “the prophet Isaiah and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). Here is a criterion to determine if one is born again, for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God” (I Cor. 2:14). An alert soul winner will sense the probable need of salvation when someone says, “I read my Bible but I don’t get a thing out of it.”
The eunuch replied, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (v. 31). This is God’s method. Man is God’s instrument, His mouthpiece! He uses men. The man “desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Many Christians are so defensive they can hardly believe people are interested. A healthy, happy attitude toward witnessing often sets the right atmosphere. People want the peace and purpose Christ offers but don’t know where to find it.
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus” (v. 35). What a pungent verse. Philip used Scripture, familiar Scripture, and preached Christ! Remember Christ is the issue. There was no strain, no argument, just simply presenting Christ; the man believed and was saved (vv. 36-37). Two impressive things follow: the man’s desire to be baptized upon believing (v. 36) and Philip’s being caught away leaving to the Holy Spirit the follow-up (v. 39). What a thrill to find people prepared like this along the way; and we will if we, too, obey the Spirit."
May we be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading in evangelism, that we may see fruit!
- - Bro. Dave