Moving from Plan A to Plan A+ (part 4)
In the Bible, we see a constant 2-part theme that emerges again and again...
Part 1) Humans fail… Part 2) God redeems…
That pattern starts in the first book (Genesis) and ends in the last (Revelation).
In the last blog, we examined how 275 had their lives spared, and of how a revival came to the island of Malta. A ship’s captain didn’t get it right—and God intervened. Did you see the pattern?
Part 1) The humans failed… Part 2) God redeemed!
Flip back a few chapters in the same book (Acts) and we see the same pattern.
Acts 7 tells us that Stephen, the first to die for Christ, was killed by those who didn’t want to hear his Word about Jesus of Nazareth. After they killed him, something “shifted” in the atmosphere:
A mob/crowd succeeded in killing Stephen, and got away with it.
(You can read this in Acts 7)
They (whoever “they” were) started to kill others who believed as Stephen did.
(You can read this in Acts 8:1).
I can’t think of anything more ugly… Being forced to flee from your own home because your friend was killed, and the murderers were not being stopped…
A fellow named Philip had no choice. He, like many others, had to flee for his life. He left, and—
He wound up in the city of Samaria…
While there, he preached about Jesus’ power (remember, preaching like that got Stephen killed and him kicked out of Jerusalem). After he preached about Jesus, something "shifted" in the atmosphere.
That power showed up ("fell") and the whole city repented, believed in Christ, got baptized, and then, were filled with the Spirit’s power…
When that was done, God sent the same fellow, Philip, to run down a desert road, and overtake a caravan, with people travelling.
He met a wealthy man from Ethiopia who was reading a scroll of the prophet Isaiah out loud (until the printing press, everyone who read, read scrolls aloud--scrolls were too expensive for the poor to own).
Of course the events were mildly ridiculous: Philip was running in the desert heat. Why? God told him! (Have you ever taken a jog when it is 10-15 degrees hotter than body temperature?)
As Philip approached the carriage, this text was being read aloud:
“He was led as a sheep to slaughter…”
Philip the desert jogger asked the man if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian asked Philip to think about it with him: He was asked to sit with the caravan and explain the text. The result—the Ethiopian gave his heart to faith in Christ. He told the drivers to stop, and got baptized…
Plan A shifted to Plan A+.
Neither the revival in Samaria, nor the conversion of the Ethiopian would have happened were it not for major, major trouble in Jerusalem that forced Philip to leave town to avoid getting killed.
Somehow, God shifted ugly, horrid reality to a higher plane…
Have you trouble? Ask God to move the plan to a higher plane… Ask God to shift reality from plan A to plan A+.
© David Chotka, 2020