Posts Tagged ‘Philippians’

Pressing on – a call to persevere

Written on May 4th, 2010 by adminno shouts

In Philippians ch.3 v.14, the Apostle Paul makes a simple bold statement. It is one that we can identify with and apply to ourselves at times when we feel like giving up.

Paul’s attitude is not to give up. He states that he will press on – he will continue to go forwards – not stop and consolidate, not backtrack to a position of security – but actively continue in the direction that he is convinced is right.

He has a goal in mind – like all of us, he cannot see it physically, but by faith he reaches out to take hold of it – or rather he allows himself to be gripped by its inexorable attraction. He can imagine the end-game, the final goal and therefore is certain of the role his actions and the obstacles around him play in getting there.

By having this perspective, he sees hindrances for what they truly are – not as great mountains that would threaten to extinguish the light of his vision, but as temporary challenges that have already been defeated in an eternal dimension; for all he needs to do is to press on and their demise is as sure as the prospect of him reaching his ultimate goal in Christ.

Power to be Positive

Written on February 17th, 2010 by adminno shouts

We love Philippians ch.4 v.13 – it is just so incredibly positive to say that I can do all things through Christ. It makes perfect sense. If you believe that you are empowered by the Creator of the universe who intimately knows how everything was created and is capable of supplying the knowledge and skill required to bring about His will through you at the time when He wants it; then this verse is axiomatic.

We can do all things because we are an integral part of the means He has chosen to redeem all things.

The flip-side is that if we find we’re in a situation where we are powerless and unable to make a difference it challenges us on two fronts:

Is this because we are no longer exercising His will. Did we have a clear vision of what He wanted to accomplish? Are our own motives and agendas pure?

Are we being challenged to take on this because God is trying to demonstrate His greatness through our powerlessness? Should we be looking for His miraculous intervention to transform a hopeless situation through our persistent and faithful prayer?

This is why James tells people to pray for wisdom! We need to know the difference between these situations.

However, there is another important point that needs to be stressed. When Paul wrote about being able to do all things, he was not speaking from a position of great material prosperity and physical comfort – indeed, his point was that he had known great challenges and need. But God had been faithful in all circumstances, had met his needs and empowered him to fulfil his calling – providing all he needed to do this – whether it was physical strength, skills, knowledge, supernatural power or just getting the timing right.

Because of his experience of God’s provision in the past, Paul was able to look on negative circumstances with a positive outlook and be certain that God would not only see him through it, but would do so in such a way that God was glorified.

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