Wednesday, December 31, 2003
When a police officer shows up for his shift, he has no idea where he's going to end up that day. That's not really up to him. His car is connected to headquarters by way of radio - and on the other end sits that person who will tell him where he's going next - the dispatcher. An officer can be cruising along peacefully one minute and the next minute racing full speed to the scene of a crime. Police officers don't decide where they're going to go next, they go wherever the dispatcher sends them. It's that voice from headquarters who sends an officer to where he or she needs to be next.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Directed by the Dispatcher."
Now, you don't have to be in law enforcement to have a life directed by the dispatcher. In fact, that's how you're supposed to live every day if you belong to Jesus Christ; listening to the inner voice from headquarters and doing immediately what the Heavenly Dispatcher tells you to do.
I've been intrigued as I have studied the lives of the most powerful people in history - the First Century Christians. No one has impacted the world more for Christ than our spiritual progenitors did back then. And in a time when Christian lives are surrounded by a huge Christian subculture, the Book of Acts shows us a power in living that makes us look pretty lame. The Book of Acts is a blueprint for powerful, impact living; the way Jesus meant for His followers to live. And the Dispatcher is a major character in the story of the original Christians.
Like in our word for today from the Word of God, for example, from Acts 8, beginning in verse 26. Philip is in the middle of some amazing revival meetings in Samaria - until he is summoned away from them by the Voice from headquarters. "Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Go south to the road - the desert road ... so he started out." The Dispatcher prompted Philip to leave the responsive multitudes in Samaria for some undescribed assignment on this desert road. Did the Dispatcher's orders make sense? No. Does Philip go anyway? Yes. Then he meets an official from the queen's court in Ethiopia and, "The Spirit told Philip, 'Go to that chariot and stay near it.' Then Philip ran up to the chariot." Again, Spirit-orders - immediate response. The result? The official comes to Christ - a man strategically positioned to help plant the Gospel on the continent of Africa with the good news.
Then, "the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away." And Philip is on to the next assignment given him by heaven's Dispatcher, the Holy Spirit. Now, that same Holy Spirit lives in you if you know Christ. And each day, He wants to dispatch you on assignments from God. He may prompt you to make a phone call to someone, to encourage someone, to write a note, to stop for someone in trouble, to make a change in your plans or your route, to speak to someone, to introduce Jesus into a conversation.
Throughout your day, the Holy Spirit, God's Dispatcher, is attempting to direct you - usually without explaining the why. And the reason isn't always immediately apparent. But your mission is to listen for those Spirit-promptings and obey those Spirit-promptings.
The problem is that some of us are so programmed, so rigid, so busy, or so self-absorbed that we don't even have our spiritual radio on. And if we do, we can't hear the Spirit's transmissions or we, as the Bible says, "Quench the Spirit" (1 Thessalonians 5:19), especially if His leading is an intrusion on our plans or something we feel uncomfortable doing.
And when we quench the Spirit, we miss so much. The most powerful people in history, the original Christians, were tuned to heaven's channel and they simply did what they were dispatched to do. That's what I call "Spiritaneity"! One reason our lives are often so powerless is because we're dispatching ourselves and missing the exciting surprises of God's will for our day. Each new morning, tune your heart to headquarters, and let heaven's Dispatcher send you on the assignments you were made for.