When they had testified and proclaimed the word of the Lord, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many Samaritan villages. Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” Acts 8:25–26 (NIV)

There is an old joke among journalists about a beginning reporter sent to do a story about a town meeting. He comes back a few hours later with sooty smudges on his face and tells his editor that there’s nothing to report.

The editor asks why, and the young reporter says the meeting never took place because the town hall burned to the ground. Wiping the soot from his face, he says, “Some of us barely got out with our lives!”

He’d missed a story far more important than the town meeting because he didn’t yet understand the need to be flexible. Journalists must be willing to drop everything they’re doing at a moment’s notice in order to chase a new story that’s a higher priority.

As believers, we need to develop a similar flexibility. We can plan and prepare, but when God tells us to head in a different direction, we should set aside our agenda and join God where he’s calling us to work.

For Philip, he was on the way back to Jerusalem with some of the other disciples, and in every town they stopped, there were people ready to receive the good news of Jesus. But God told Philip to take a different route, and in his obedience, he found God already working within the treasurer of Ethiopia, and from this conversation, an entire nation learned about Jesus.

When God disrupts your plans, his agenda takes priority over your own. Ask God to give you discernment in these moments and to help you develop obedience. Be encouraged, God knows you’re learning and growing.

Praise for Jon Walker’s new book, Breakfast with Bonhoeffer:

  • “Best Christian book this year!!”
  • “Amazing vulnerability, I could not put it down!”
  • “Practical, painful and true.”
  • “This is a real life book about the trials we face in an evil world.”
  • “Unique writing style and perspective on living out the Christian faith ….”
  • “One of my favorite books of the year.”

This devotional © Copyright 2013 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

 

Jon Walker

Jon Walker is managing editor of Rick Warren’s Daily Hope Devotionals and a contributing editor at pastors.com. Copyright © 2017 Jon Walker. Used by permission.