Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, “Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” This is desert.
So he arose and went. And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship,
was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet.
Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” – Acts 8:26-29 (NKJV)
The Spirit of the Lord, His Holy Spirit, should take the lead in our evangelism efforts. If we understand that, we can easily navigate the plethora of challenges that we may face out and about the people in the world as we seek to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our understanding and acceptance of the Spirit’s role will inevitably help each and every one of us fulfill our roles in evangelism efforts.
We discover Philip as one of those scattered about by the persecution of the church by Saul in the early part of this chapter of Acts. He shares Christ in Samaria and that sparks an unprecedented revival in that region. However, at some later period, the Lord speaks to Philip through “an angel of the Lord” and directs him elsewhere.
In essence, it boils down to you hearing from and heeding to God’s Spirit. The Spirit is also known as the Helper. He cannot help you if you are resistant, reluctant or refusing His help. You have to accept the Helper’s help in whatever form that He provides it. That may require you to go to places that may seem like Jonah’s Nineveh to you. When you hear from Him, you need to accept what He is saying and how He offers help to you.
Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch offers us some insight into Spirit-led evangelism. As a believer, you must become sensitive to the leading and urgings of the Holy Spirit both before and during your approach to someone. You need to let the Spirit lead you and listen accordingly. Listening, in this sense, is not necessarily related to an audible communication but may be related to accepting, adhering to and acting upon how the Spirit leads you in the midst of the situation.
Let the Spirit direct and dictate how you evangelize. As you approach people, be sure to pay close attention to how the Spirit leads you. Preparation is good for your comfort level and confidence, but you also need to depend upon the Holy Spirit for holy works that truly lead people to Christ.
The Spirit can help you with:
- Where to start
- Words to say
- When to stop
We need to accept the Spirit’s leading. Once we have accepted it, then we need to adhere to it. If the Spirit is urging us to go forward and share the Romans Road, then do so by the Spirit’s lead. If the Spirit is saying for you to share your testimony or ask some questions, that’s what you need to do. You have to act upon the Spirit’s leading.
Your response to the Spirit’s leading should allow you to see if it is rooted in the Spirit or selfishness. Self-seeking acts quench the Spirit. James, the brother of the Lord Jesus Christ, put it this way: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. Paul, an apostle of Jesus, said it plainly when he wrote: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. If it is about the self, then it is not by the Spirit. Let the Spirit do the leading and act upon that to become fruitful in your evangelism efforts.
Be led by the Spirit.