I will continue to rejoice,for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. PHIL 1:18b-20
When Paul wrote this he was in prison and there were those trying to take advantage of that fact and were teaching the gospel with the wrong motives. They were trying to stir up trouble for Paul. But Paul did not worry about it. God was using the fact that the gospel was being preached with or without the right motives. God can use both to draw people unto Himself.
I find that I am challenged by Pauls attitude. His atittude? He would continue to rejoice is his circumstances. Why? Becasue he knew that through prayers and the power of the Spirit of Christ what was happening in order to destroy him God would use to deliver him. Paul knew that Christ would have the glory whether that meant his life or death it did not matter. What courage Paul had! Not to care about his life as long as Jesus was exalted.
I'm afraid I often fail at this kind of self sacrificing. I am so often concerned about me and my comforts. I pray that God would help me to die to self so that I can live for Him, but often they are prayer that are not followed by obedience.
Why is dying to self so difficult? Oh I know the answer...but still I struggle.
Oh Father take my will, help me to die to self. Give me the desire to obey when I hear your Spirit tell me I need to serve others instead of myself. Oh Jesus you were such an example of a true servant, I want to be like you. Forgive me for the times I put myself before other others. Forgive me for those times when I should have put aside my comforts for the comfort of others. Father forgive me for my hypocricy when I say with my mouth I want to serve you and then I go out and serve myself. Jesus take my will and make it obedient to Yours. Show me how I might die to self. Help me to live a life completely abandoned to you.
giving up my pride is really hard, especially when we've been raised in a pride-filled home. Where nothing is good unless you're the best...ReplyDelete
thanks for the post!
Sharon, thank you for sharing your heart and God's truth. I have spent this evening reading through many of them and wishing I could visit with you face to face. God has you in women's ministry for a reason! He has given you a wonderful way with words that touch hearts. I am sending a personal email also.ReplyDelete
I think Paul really saw God as He is- in complete control- and so he didn't have to freak out when He knew that the Gospel was being preached with wrong motive. He trusted a God that even uses wrong motives. He had a REALLY BIG view of God. Often times, my view of God is too small, like I need to defend Him or something. I definitely need to have an answer for the hope that I have, but God can defend Himself. When I see God as fully in control, I know that He can and does use all things for His glory. Most of the time, it's just cause I don't like it that I want it to stop- it's uncomfortable, it hurts, it makes me have to be humble and quiet or wait on God. Even things that are done in wrong motive by others are tools that God uses to refine me. To make my view of God bigger so I can trust Him the next time.ReplyDelete