Spread Love Everywhere You Go - Mother Theresa
I was in my car headed to the gym for my morning workout. At the stoplight, I prayerfully went through my daily "to-do-list" and invited Jesus to speak into my day. As I listened, I sensed that I was supposed to go to Target instead of the YMCA. While this prompt seemed strange, I knew that I was being redirected and obeyed. As I approached the entrance at Target, I saw my friend Michelle walking out. Immediately, I knew that I had been sent here for her. Michelle had texted earlier in the morning about a very difficult and heavy relational situation. God knew the burden she was carrying. He saw her and kindly redirected me to Target to encourage her.
I was next in line to order a smoothie when I sensed the hopelessness and depression of the cashier. I silently began to pray for her. As I signed my receipt, a short verse came to mind about how "God is Father to the fatherless" (Psalm 68:5). I wrote the verse on the receipt and handed it to her. She read it and immediately started weeping. She explained how her dad died of cancer leaving her fatherless and alone. She wanted to know who the “Father to the fatherless” was, and I was eager to introduce her.
What do these two stories have in common? They both reveal God's great love and compassion for people and His desire to partner with us; ordinary believers who carry His extraordinary love. Every day - at Target, the park, in the grocery store - we have the opportunity to partner with the Holy Spirit in sharing God's extravagant love with others. We are called to live a lifestyle of love. Whether you approach a stranger to share the gospel, pray for your barista or speak a kind word to a friend, God delights in partnering with us in showing a broken world that He is kind, good, and faithful. How, then, do we do this? The story of Philip and the eunuch (Acts 8:26-40) gives us insight to this great adventure of sharing the love of Jesus with a desperate world.
Through his angel, God takes initiative and directs Philip to take a road south, from Jerusalem to Gaza. While most of us probably can't relate to an angelic visitation, we can and should be expectant for God to lead, guide, and prompt us throughout the day. We must give God permission to direct us and even interrupt us. One way to practice this is to ask, "God what are you doing today? How can I join you?" These simple questions help us to focus on how the Father is already at work and partner with him like Jesus did.
In immediate obedience, with little information but complete trust in God’s guidance, Phillip sets out. Notice that Phillip obeys immediately, without analyzing the directions. Some translations imply that Philip was actually asked to travel at noon, which made God’s invitation all the more unusual, for few travelers would be on the road in the harsh heat of the midday sun. In my experience, this is where most of us get stuck. We sense an unexpected prompt from the Holy Spirit and choose reason instead of faith. It takes faith to step out and risk failure. Faith chooses to believe that God is trustworthy and that He delights in partnering with us to reach people. Philip obeys, despite the rather strange call to travel to a desolate desert road. We too must learn to obey immediately and unquestioningly. Obedient faith always brings blessing and far outweighs the potential of our own embarrassment.
The timing of the Holy Spirit proves to be perfect and Philip encounters a lone chariot of an Ethiopian eunuch. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Philip boldly approaches the chariot and asks the eunuch, who happened to be reading the book of Isaiah, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The eunuch, hungry to understand, admits his need. Phillip shares the good news of Jesus with him and then the eunuch believes.
Although Phillip did not know that he would be unpacking the book of Isaiah, he was ready. Clearly, his intimate friendship with Jesus and keen understanding of the scriptures prepared him. The Bible tells us “to be prepared” (2 Tim 4:2) - so are we ready? Our ongoing, close friendship with Jesus and faithful devotional life prepares us for a lifestyle of love. My prayer is that, like Phillip, we would become women who are “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” so that we are alert to the voice of God and eagerly step into the divine appointments that He has for us each day (Acts 6:3).
What would help you open yourself more fully to the guidance God offers you each day?How might God be inviting you to grow your trust in Him and your obedience to Him?How ready are you for the divine appointments God might call you into? What enhances your preparedness?
About Katie Racine
Katie is Minnesota bred and SoCal warmed. She and her husband James currently serve as pastors on staff with All Peoples Church in San Diego. Her two daughters, Evelyn and Emma, are her greatest joys. She considers mothering them to be the highest form of discipleship. She has a Masters degree in Spiritual Formation and is passionate about discipling women to walk in freedom and the fullness of their identity in Christ. Running, almond milk lattes, white bistro lights, dark chocolate anything, and writing are a few of her favorite things.