When the Wise Thing Seems Foolish


In Acts 8, the Apostle Philip was led by the Holy Spirit to change directions and turn his attention to an Ethiopian government official. This official was in a place that would take Philip away from the trajectory he might have assumed his life would remain on. Philip had been successful and fulfilled doing great work in Samaria. He had a prospering and fruitful ministry there, but God had a plan, and called upon Philip to go to an area that was desolate. This place seemed to lack the potential for harvest that Philip had witnessed in Samaria and may have seemed like a foolish move logically, but Philip trusted the Father’s wisdom and submitted to God’s plan. Philip’s example begs us to examine our own flexibility to the Will of God. There are more gadgets and gizmos to make our lives comfortable than ever before, and we’ve become very accustomed to a certain kind of convenience. So much so, that if God called upon one of us to leave the comforts of success and familiarity that we currently enjoy, we might wonder if it was really His voice that we’ve heard.

As Christians, our way of life should be to walk by faith and not by sight. Sometimes, we forget how important our faith walk is to Heavenly Father. Our relationship with Him is based on faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that it is impossible to please God without it. We haven’t seen Him with our physical eyes, but we know that God exists. It’s this internal knowing through the testimony of the indwelling Holy Spirit that affirms our faith. We can’t beat God’s goodness, no matter how much we try. His love is so great that it will take us an eternity to thank Him in even the smallest way. Even so, the way that you and I demonstrate our love and gratitude while we yet live on this earth is by trusting God through faith.

It is important for us to know that God has called us to a certain purpose in life. We have a charge to keep and a call to fulfill. It is not always going to be convenient, and there might be a few uncomfortable spots as well. We cling to the familiar and we’re not that fond of change, but the Christian walk will require us to breach the walls of our comfort zones. Some people call it a monkey wrench in our plans. Others call it tribulation. Whatever the label, something will always happen in life to wake us up and cause us to stretch in ways that we haven’t before.

Lamentations 3:22-23(NLT) tells us, “22 The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. 23 Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” God gives us a new day every 24 hours. His mercies begin new each morning. We couldn’t repeat the mistakes of yesterday if we tried, because yesterday is gone forever; we will never see it again. In Isaiah 43:13, 21The Message (MSG), Heavenly Father said, “13 No one can take anything from me. I make; who can unmake it? 21Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”

We miss so many opportunities to be a blessing and to therefore receive a blessing because we are trying to walk by sight, instead of walking by faith. We fix our eyes to look at things from the same perspective, and never think to switch on our spiritual vision of faith. The wise things of God seem foolish to those that refuse to expand their vision and acknowledge how His power will work through them. We limit our vision and put shackles on our minds and hearts, because we want to place the power of God in our small boxes. That way we don’t have to press our way to the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ. We can just stay comfortable and have things the way they’ve always been. This is not the race God has called us to run. In Isaiah 55:8 (NLT), God said, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” We can’t pinhole God. He’s always up to something, and if we’re alert and flexible, He’s going to work through us to accomplish it.

God is constantly telling us to keep our eyes planted on Him and what He’s doing in us, with us, and through us, so that we learn to recognize His voice, and like Philip, be obedient to His call. Sometimes it might not seem logical and rational to the trajectory we’re on, but we’ve been called to be flexible to His Will. If we take our eyes off God for a second, the enemy can use it to get us off track. Taking our eyes off Heavenly Father is the equivalent of forgetting to prioritize our relationship with Him in the number one spot. Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 6:33 to seek God and His righteousness first. It’s God first all the way! James 4:8(NLT) tells us, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” The Spirit of God is in us through Jesus Christ, so God isn’t talking about proximity here. He’s telling us to come close to Him in our minds, hearts, and souls. To stay focused on Him so that we can receive and move according to His divine directives.

An angel spoke to Philip in Acts 8:26, and told him to walk the desolate road from Jerusalem to Gaza, and Philip obeyed. As he was walking down the road, he met the Ethiopian eunuch. The eunuch had taken a trip to Jerusalem and was heading back home, where he was the minister of finance for the queen. He thought he had done a great service to himself and his position in Jerusalem, but that couldn’t hold a candle to the plan that God had for him. The eunuch was riding in a chariot, reading the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. In Acts 8:29, the Spirit instructed Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Hearing the man as he read, Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. In Acts 8:31(NLT), the Ethiopian replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” He then urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

God had a plan that would impact a nation. Little did the Ethiopian official know that the influence and impact Philip would have upon him would be monumental. Philip might have thought it irrational to run along the carriage of someone he had never met before, but he was paying attention to God and received his instruction. So often we underestimate our call, because the things that God tells us to do sometimes might not make sense to us, or they might not fit with who we believe ourselves to be. We think we know ourselves so well, but the truth is that we would be surprised at some of the things we would do were it not for the keeping power of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to listen for God’s instruction, and take care of the details. When we are attentive to the small things, God will bless us to grow in the blessings and responsibilities of taking care of the big things.

We can never make light of our call, or think of ourselves as unable to make a big difference, because God has called us with a holy calling, and nothing He does is inconsequential. Only God knows us through and through. He knows our purpose, and if we will broaden our minds and hearts to trust Him, we will find that He indeed works in mysterious ways, and that the Christian walk is the most exciting and rewarding journey life has to offer. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“When the Wise Thing Seems Foolish” written by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2017. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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