On Paul, Philippians, & Perspective. On Goals, Stand Firm, & Agree.

Recently, I read through the book of Philippians. What a powerful book. Today I’m sharing posts I shared on social media each day God showed me something in Paul’s letters.

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“not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your deliverance- and this is from God.” Phil 1:28
Our peace comes from God alone. When the world shakes we are held steady. Our peace drives the enemy mad. He can’t conquer it. It’s a secret weapon he wants us never to discover.
Truth is under attack. Don’t fear speaking the truth. Stand in His peace. This world is fleeting.

When I think about my goals, they typically center around me. When I read Paul’s goals in Philippians chapter 3, I am convicted.
“My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” Phil 3:10
This is so powerful. The goal- know Jesus. To know the power of His resurrection, we have to die first. Resurrection comes after death. Die to myself, my pride, my selfish desires, my cravings.
To know the fellowship of His sufferings has never been a goal of my life. I try my best to avoid suffering. To fellowship in His sufferings is to be rejected, ridiculed, mocked.
I want to love Jesus so much that I am willing to lay my life down daily. Only then will I see resurrection power.
One of the many things I love about Paul’s letters is how he starts many sentences with “but”. I lost a few points in high school English for starting sentences with but, but now…..I love starting with but. But that’s beside the point.
In Philippians 3:13-14 Paul says, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
Paul had proper perspective. Look up. Reach forward. Go for the promised prize.
In verse 20 we are reminded why we feel like strangers living in a strange world. “but our citizenship is in Heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This isn’t our final home. We are visiting. Don’t lose hope. He’s coming back soon. In the meantime, keep pursuing Him!!

As I read Philippians 4 today, a phrase caught my attention. It was 3 small words which were directly after 3 key phrases.
The 3 phrases: Stand firm. Agree. Rejoice.
It seems that today to stand firm equates to disagreeing. And to disagree leads to complaining rather than rejoicing. In my humanness this is true. But Paul shows us the key to unity.
These 3 words: in the LORD.
Stand firm ——>>in the LORD
Agree ————>>in the LORD
Rejoice ———->>in the LORD
Wait. What? And how? You see we are incredibly distracted. Years ago I studied The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. I’ll never forget one image she drew of the way the Romans fought. How one tactic was to set arrows on fire and shoot them about setting fires that demanded attention. The defending soldiers would put all their efforts into putting out fires leaving them defenseless.
Friends, satan has set ablaze distracting fires. Fires of viruses, fires of civil unrest, fires of masks, fires of school decisions, fires of racial wars, fires of corruption. Oh the fires. They are everywhere. And we have set down our offensive weapons and picked up buckets of water.
Let’s step away from the smoke, clear our vision. We stand firm in the Lord. His ways, His truth, His Word. We don’t deviate. Ever. At all. Stand firm. We agree in the Lord. All the stuff we bicker about, refocus. Where do we agree? We agree in the Lord. His ways, His truth, His Word. Finally, we rejoice in the Lord. Because we stand in Him and agree in Him we will rejoice in Him.
And to be sure we understand, Paul says it this way, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: REJOICE!” Phil 4:4