In the eighth chapter of Acts we meet Philip. Phillip is one of those, as was Stephen, who was appointed and anointed to distribute the groceries to the widows of the church. A mere servant, yet one like Stephen, who will be used to do powerful things and make great strides in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.
It would seem there are no mere servants in the church of Jesus Christ. Perhaps because servants go where they are asked to go. And Philip is about to do exactly that, even as the Apostles, who had received the command known as the great commission from Jesus, remain in Jerusalem. Probably feeling obligated to stay and care for the flock who was unable for whatever reason to flee the persecution.
So Phillip goes on to have some real adventures starting in Samaria, the hated land of the cross bred remnant of the northern tribes of old Israel. They even make celebrities out of sorcerers. In Acts 8 we read:
But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.” And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time. But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Acts 8:8-12
The Samaritan’s are used to grand shows but they have never seen anything like what this religious refugee from Jerusalem is bringing. Philip is making causing no small stir in Samaria, even the famous Simon is astonished by his Spirit filled acts and preaching.
Remember, Philip was nobody in the eyes of the world, and perhaps much of the church. As one of those from what was called the Hellenists, a Greek speaker in a church full of diehard Hebrews, there were likely those who looked down their noses at him.
That’s important to note. Because it seems to me that we are entering a time in our day where the obscure, unknown and even often scorned servants of the Lord will be the ones God uses to bring on the next revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit we so desperately need right now, as big churches struggle and high profile leaders seem to be falling left and right.
It’s time for the scattered to pay attention. Because those who are paying attention know that their scatter matters. God is not on vacation, or wringing his hands perplexed, he is always at work.
To be honest with you, I always read this in the past thinking that Philip was an apostle. This book is called, the Acts of the Apostles after all. But so far, we are seeing ordinary disciples, if there is such a thing, making some pretty big waves here. And, in my defense, there is an apostle named Philip. But this Philip is just another servant disciple who is determined to keep serving his Lord.
You would think that after the stoning death of his good friend and brother Stephen that he might want to keep a low profile. But, and you may have noticed this, being filled with the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ is not real conducive to keeping a low profile.
You are going to be noticed, and you will either be targeted or drawn to, either way you will be noticed. A light on a hill in the dark of night will be seen, unless hidden under a bushel basket.
If that’s the case the Spirit will just move on and work with someone who will shine. When the big production spotlights go dim the smaller flickers of the faithful who kept their lamps full of oil seem much brighter—and genuine.
And that’s what Philip is doing; being a light of truth that all are drawn to.
Keep shining on my brothers and sisters–God sees you, and so will the world.
The heart of the Lord is for you, for your heart and for your mission. —Carry on.