This has been a watershed chapter for me. It has granted me deep desires that I am acting on to help me grow in my faith. But, first, from the chapter itself.
In my Bible, the first part of the chapter is entitled The Inadequacy of the Flesh. Paul thought he was doing everything right by persecuting the followers of Jesus. His background, his zeal, what he was doing in his own strength would be what got him to heaven. Those thoughts are not very different from what a lot of people think today. However, Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and it changed his life. It turned everything he thought about himself and God upside down. He learned that Christ was sufficient.
Nothing else mattered. It was not the law that brought righteousness from God, but faith in Christ. And this faith gave Paul a deep desire to know Christ. I especially liked what Verse 12 had to say because it shows that Paul was a human being just like the rest of us.
“Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.”
He doesn’t claim he is better than that rest of the people he is writing to. What matters is that Jesus is in him, and he is pursuing God’s call home to heaven.
This leads to the final section of the chapter where Paul appeals to the Philippians and to all of us. This world is not our home so our focus is not supposed to be on earthly things. As Verse 20 says, “our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now, back to what I said in the first paragraph. This chapter and other things in my life have brought out a deep desire to know my Lord and Savior. And the best way to know someone is to talk with them. With God, this talking is known as prayer. All of us who profess faith know this, but what I have realized is that my prayers need to go deeper than the prayers offered at mealtime or prayers offered in desperation. They need to be consistent and specific. So, today, I am starting something I am calling the Prayer Project. I am looking forward to seeing how God moves in my community. Prayer changes lives, and it helps us to know our Lord and Savior better. All we have to do is pray.
God’s blessings on you today!