EXCEPT SOME MAN SHOULD GUIDE ME Andy Hollifield 9-5-17
Acts 8:29-31 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. (30) And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? (31) And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
I planned to write on something else and all of a sudden this thought popped into my mind about how we need to guide others as Philip was requested to do. I try to pray and ask God what he would have me to write on each day and I try to be obedient as well as prayerful and attentive. I had this title to start with and then changed it to something I liked better but I realized that God hadn’t told me to do that so I changed it back. I have learned, the hard way at times, to be obedient to God even when it may not seem like a big deal. He has been dealing with people’s hearts a lot longer than I have.
As I thought about the title, I looked up the scripture and found out that I was quoting it wrong. I had thought it was “except some man should SHOW me” instead of “GUIDE”, me. I didn’t really comprehend what the big difference was until I looked up the definitions. The word “show” means to cause to allow to be seen and also to indicate or point out. The word “guide” takes “show” to a whole nother level. I think this will bless you. “Guide”—-(1) to ASSIST (a person) to travel through, or reach a destination in an unfamiliar area as by accompanying or giving directions to the person. (2) To accompany (a sightseer) to show points of interest and to explain their meaning or significance. Let that ring up on you for a minute. Now knowing the definitions, would you say that God “shows” us the way or “guides” us on the way? I thank God that he don’t just “cause the way to be seen” but he does “assist a person to travel through, AND reach a destination in an unfamiliar area, (but we will know it when we see it, that city whose builder and maker is God), as by accompanying AND giving directions to the person and he is always pointing out the significance of things we see. Look back at the definitions right quick: I changed OR to AND and also changed AS BY to AND. Seems a little more accurate that way when you are talking about Jesus. I’m glad he don’t just give us directions but he also accompanies us on our journey. Even though we don’t think we know the way, He said, “I am the way” (John 14:6). There is no way that we could ever hope to reach our destination except “by him”. I like the fact that he gives us directions but he also goes with us to guide us. You may be saying, “I don’t know so much about that.” Look at Psalms 23. (1) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. What does a shepherd do? He guides his sheep in the way that is best for them and he knows the area. When you have a guide, you don’t have to want for anything. With a guide service, everything is included, all you have to do is keep up and follow your leader. (2) “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” Food and beverages are provided when Jesus is your guide. The psalmist even said in chapter 37:25, that he hadn’t, in all of his life, seen the guide forsake anybody or any of his sheep go hungry. It didn’t say it in those words but that is the gist of it. (3) Now it gets good! “He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”. He refreshes you and puts you at ease. When your soul is beat down by the paths that you have been taking, he will get you on the right path for his name’s sake. He can’t let anybody think that he isn’t capable of caring for his sheep. Oh, I about forgot one of the best points that proves he don’t show us the way but also guides us. Look back at verse 2. “He LEADETH me beside still waters.” He can’t lead you on the way if he isn’t with you. (4) “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;.” Let me stop a minute. He didn’t say the valley of death, he said the valley of the “shadow” of death. Shadows aren’t anything to be scared of and have fear about; they can’t hurt you. There it is again just like in verse 2, “thou art with me”. I’m telling you, he is definitely our guide and he even provides security to keep us safe on the journey. It says next, “thy rod and thy staff comfort me”. The good shepherd ( and he said in John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd”) giveth his life for the sheep.” and he did in Luke 23 when he was crucified. With that rod, he can fend off any danger or attack and with that staff he can rescue us when we fall off of the path of righteousness. Now that is a real reputable, all-inclusive, guide service isn’t it? (5) “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:” No matter where we are, meals are included and always on time, remember: no begging bread (Psalms 37:35). “Thou anoinest my head with oil;” That oil is a type of the Holy Ghost and is used for healing and preventing infection. Even our health and medical is covered when Jesus is our guide. “My cup runneth over”. Of course it does! How could we have ever been so fortunate as to get a guide service that is totally all inclusive while we are in his care? Verse 6 answers that question. (6) “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:” That is the fringe benefits of having him as our guide. Have you ever seen a guide service with a life insurance policy like that? Goodness and mercy always following you. We get the benefit of the life insurance while we are living. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Yeah! With a guide service like that with all of the benefits, why wouldn’t anybody want to stay forever?
Remember the definition of “guide”. It said a guide accompanies a person to the destination. We aren’t just wandering around through green pastures by still waters and through shadowy valleys. We are on our way somewhere. To that city “whose builder and maker is God”(Hebrews 11:10), the Father of our guide. Nothing like signing on with an all-inclusive, family operated, guide service. He guides us all the way through our journey and then provides us with a retirement package and a new home that he has already prepared for us (John 14:3).
I am not going to apologize for getting excited about my guide. That Ethiopian eunuch didn’t have any idea what he would get when he told Philip he needed “some man to guide him”. He got one all right, the same one that guides me that we need to introduce other lost travelers to; the man Christ Jesus! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!