YOU HAVE TO BE IN A POSITION TO RECEIVE
If your son is an amazing football player, but he’s never in the right position, he can’t ‘receive’ the ball. If your child’s birthday party is thrown for them at 3rd Street, but you have your child at 1st street, they can’t experience the party or ‘receive’ the gifts. If a letter gets mailed to 1234 My Street, My City, USA, but I live on 2345 My Road, My Town, USA, I won’t get it because I was not at the right place to ‘receive’ it.
The same is true for us in a spiritual sense. God is always placing us in places and moving people in spots in order that we and they would ‘receive’ what He has for them and for us. But, if we ignore the presses from God to go, or stay, to be, and do, and say, or not, we won’t be in the right position to ‘receive’ what He is doing through us.
Often, when we feel presses from God to do something, it feels like a physical thing. For example, you may have a press to go to this store instead of that store; don’t go to that event, stay home. Or, if you planned on staying home, but you get a press to go and be a part of something (which makes no sense in the physical), and you go, then, you are amazed at how God orchestrated the millions of details to bring “this” or “that” together. If you are still with me, Amen! I love the story of Philip and the Ethiopian in Acts:
Ac 8:26 Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”
Ac 8:27 So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship,
Ac 8:28 and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the book of Isaiah the prophet.
Ac 8:29 The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
Ac 8:30 Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
Ac 8:31 “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.
Ac 8:32 The eunuch was reading this passage of Scripture: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before the shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
Ac 8:33 In his humiliation he was deprived of justice. Who can speak of his descendants? For his life was taken from the earth.”
Ac 8:34 The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?”
Ac 8:35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.
Ac 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water. Why shouldn’t I be baptized?”
Ac 8:38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
Ac 8:39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.
Ac 8:40 Philip, however, appeared at Azotus and traveled about, preaching the gospel in all the towns until he reached Caesarea.
He didn’t tell him why the desert road or why the chariot or for how long he’d be there. He simply told him to do it and Philip did it, immediately! Then, he got the next set of orders and found out what he was doing there.
And just look at what God did with Philip’s obedience! Amazing! I also love how the story ends after the awesome baptism: Philip was ‘beamed up’ and taken to another place – another place, I’m sure where God also had a plan awaiting Philip once he got there. We notice that Philip traveled about preaching the gospel until he reached Caesarea.
I wonder what happened in Caesarea? Don’t you just get excitedly curious when you read the Word? Turns out some years later, according to Acts 21:8-9, he was an evangelist. He had four daughters who prophesied. And when Paul and his companions traveled through that region on their way to Jerusalem, Philip entertained them. Philip is even known for converting a sorcerer named Simon to Christianity. But, what really sticks out to me is that while Philip was miraculously ‘beamed up’ by God, he lived a life much like we live today – seeking God, loving others, serving others, telling the lost about God, and going where God sends and doing what God asks us to do. Philip was also one of seven deacons chosen to minister to the poor within the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts 6).
However, I think we get “caught up” in reading the Bible and all the miraculous things God did “back then” and we think, “Well, that was back then. That was them; they were supersaints or something! Besides now cars and planes exists, so no miracles happen anymore, and if they did happen, they wouldn’t involve me.”
To that, I say, ask God to get you “caught up” in His loving Holy Spirit and press into Him and His Word and listen to what He is saying. He can “catch you up and take you up” to whatever He has planned, and I guarantee you it will be miraculous! Sure, you may travel by mere plane; you may travel by mere car; God may simply ask you to walk across the street – or do something amazing for someone in your own home (no travel required)! – But, you have to be in a position to ‘receive’ what it is He is saying.
If you are willing, pray this prayer:
“Father God, I ask you to position me in such a way that Your Spirit will take me to where you would have me go. Move within me in a way that causes me to think, do, and say things that glorify you and help others today. I know, Father, God that sometimes the only travel that is required is a new positioning within my own heart. Whatever you have, Father, God, I accept. I trust You to know what I can handle and the doses in which I can handle it, and I ask for that divinely proportioned amount through Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.
Originally published Tuesday, 03 July 2018.