STOP So You Can GO, by Pastor Phil Sessa

“The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing.” (Acts 8:29-30; 38-39)

During war time in the military, when a platoon is trying to find the enemy and the military leader suddenly places his hand in the air and closes his fight, all his troops immediately stop. Why because their eyes are on their leader, and one more step could be a landmine that could blow off their leg, or end their very life. Even towns and cities know the value of stopping which is why they have placed stop signs and stop lights to better control traffic.

There are times when God wants us to stop and not take another step forward. Perhaps one is reading God’s word and a certain truth seems to bring off the page into your spirit and it stops you in your tracks. If you’re like most, you stop for a moment because it’s like a stop light, and then you envision a green light and you go. However, when God stops you as you are reading His word, it is because there is a truth, a warning, an encouragement, a piece of wisdom, etc… that He has for you now. In our church one member was reading the Scriptures and the words from Genesis, “Who told you that,” seemed to leap off the page at them. This in turn caused her to weigh the words others said to them, or perhaps even their own thoughts that came into their mind. Have you said to yourself, “I’m a failure,” or were you ever told hurtful words such as “you’ll never amount to anything.” Who told you that! Did God say that to you? When we are stopped in our tracks as we read God’s word, there is a reason and God knows that reason, and failure to stop at that verse, passage, question, word, command will result in a consequence. A soldier failing to stop could be killed, a car failing to stop at a light may crash, a Christian failing to stop will feel the effect and it could be disastrous. Just as the military leader signals stop because he senses grave danger ahead, how much more should we as Christians stop, because when God says “STOP,” He sees what is ahead for us, and failing to stop when He says stop will not turn out in our favor.

The Spirit told Philip to go and STOP at the chariot, but never gave the reason to Philip. Philip ran and STOPPED hearing the eunuch reading the Scriptures, and Phillip shared Jesus with him. Imagine if
Philip didn’t STOP. Who would have explained the passage of Scripture to the eunuch? Then the newly converted eunuch gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him. However when they came up out of the water the Holy Spirit had translated Philip 30 miles away to another town. This may be difficult to fathom, but if Jesus can be taken from death to life, then Philip can be taken from town to town. Imagine if they had never stopped for the baptism and at specific time the Holy Spirit was going to take Philip away, then who would have baptized the eunuch.

When God tells you to STOP it is for your own good, so that you can GO right! Is there a verse, passage of Scripture, habit, etc…, that God has said STOP? What are you moving for? Today is the day to STOP in your tracks, because the next step may be something that you can’t handle without receiving what you need when you are stopped. Even a car stops for gas, can’t God’s people stop from Him! Blessings Pastor Phil

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