Nov 30, 2016

Posted by in Awesomeness, Encouragement, Fruit For Thought, G.I.G., Mid-Week Motivation | 0 Comments

To Live

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To Live

“For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith. And when I come to you again, you will have even more reason to take pride in Christ Jesus because of what he is doing through me.” – Philippians 1:20-26 

 

 

In this passage, Paul is literally talking about life and death. He faced so many difficulties in life that he seriously started thinking about how much better it would be if he died and could be with Jesus. It’s not that he was suicidal. His life was actually in danger daily, so it was reasonable for him to have morbid thoughts. If he were to die, it would be way better for him. He wouldn’t have to face persecution; he could rest; and he wouldn’t have to fight anymore.

 

You would think that Paul would’ve been accepting of death and welcomed it without hesitation, but there was one problem: Purpose. Paul knew that he was called to share the good news and he knew there were people that needed him. Although he was okay with his life ending, and preferred it, he knew that his life was precious to others. He knew that God could still do great works through him for the benefit of others. So, what did Paul decide? He decided that it was necessary to die to his desires, so he could live for God’s desires.


How does Paul’s example relate to us today? I personally don’t know any people who are facing life-threatening persecution, have been put on trial and jailed for sharing their faith, or have been rejected by their own people because of their faith. Although Paul’s literal example is not relatable to most, giving up on your purpose or assignment due to tough circumstances is something we can identify with.

 

Discovering your purpose is a precious gift, a gift so precious that you shouldn’t give it up. God is the most purposeful being there is. He has daily, seasonal, and lifetime purposes for us. These purposes all tie into His bigger plan, recovering the lost. So, you can only imagine that when you start going in the direction of your purpose or make the decision to pursue your purpose, opposition is going to come; and sometimes it comes as forceful as a head on collision. The devil would love nothing more than to stop your progress, and prevent you from carrying out God’s vision for your day, season, and life.


As a result of the devil’s opposition, we’re tempted to throw in the towel. It would be so much easier. We wouldn’t have to fight anymore; we wouldn’t have to be placed in uncomfortable situations anymore; and we wouldn’t have to stand face to face with our fears anymore. We could just rest. Those are all reasonable desires. No one would fault you for resting. I’m actually all for resting, and so is God. But, giving up, no. You’ve got to keep in mind what’s most important, the precious “gift” God gave you to carry out.


What encourages me so much about Paul is his honesty and determination. He honestly admits that he has thoughts about giving up, which we all can relate to, but he always redirects his attention to what is more important and pursues it. My life scripture, the one I strive to model my life after, is Acts 20: 24, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” This was the response Paul gave after the Holy Spirit warned him that persecution was facing him on the road ahead, the road God told him to take. People tried to change Paul’s mind about taking that path because they didn’t want him to experience hardships, but Paul valued God’s purpose more than he valued a comfortable life…that’s how I want to live. It’s the best way to live.


So, push past the obstacles. There’s great glory for the kingdom of God on the other side. The bible tells us in Hebrews 12 that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him. Your sacrifices are not in vain. God sees you, loves you, is with you, and He’ll make sure you experience the joy that’s set before you…Choose to live. **G.I.G.** 

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