We’ve all been told and reminded to count our blessings, and we as christians are certainly not without every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places as Paul tells us in Ephesians. Practicing gratitude is of the utmost importance for your heart and your mind. However, these past couple of weeks spent in Philippians have reminded me to count my losses…
As an achiever and perfectionist who feels best when I’m being productive and accomplishing things, it was at first quite disappointing to have much of my life canceled due to this global pandemic. It was an annoyance and inconvenience that I didn’t want to deal with, but then came the huge relief as suddenly, all the stress of having to “get it all done” melted away. I was incredibly grateful and thanked God for this time for myself, my family, and others to breath, to slow down and to experience His presence and leading. The pressure that I had put on myself to be all these things, to be in multiple places at once, to coach and teach and guide and lead was gone. It seemed as though a burden had been lifted…so I thought…
The feeling of not having to perform and meet my own high standards that I had set for myself was refreshing, yet I quickly realized that I still had work to do. I still had a job to keep the church informed and help provide spiritual care for my church family. Then I slipped back into the mindset of “What else should I be DOING?”, and “I’m not DOING enough?”, and “I’m not enough.”
And then I dove back into His Word where Paul reminded me in Philippians to BEWARE of the enemies of Christ, those who set their minds on earthly things. He reminded me that,
“We are the TRUE circumcision, who worship in the SPIRIT of God and GLORY in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the FLESH.” (Philippians 3:3)
My confidence had shifted back to myself, myself in the flesh and the earthly THINGS that I do, not the heavenly things of Christ.
Where is your confidence and your heart today?
Is it in the Spirit of Christ or in your own flesh? Is it in faith and grace or the law, in earthy things or the heavenly?
I had to ask myself these questions. What’s really important to me? Why am I doing these things that I do? Is my mind set on Christ? Am I furthering the gospel? Is my confidence in the flesh, in the THINGS that I do? Then I remembered His word through Paul again,
“I count ALL THINGS LOSS in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but RUBBISH so that I may gain Christ.”
While these “things” we do and have (and even the relationships that we cherish) can be good “things”, they are nothing, rubbish, compared to the glory of Christ and what he has done and continues to do for us. I am a child of God because of Christ, and that is enough. I am loved, and my Lord has gone to great lengths for me to experience that love and freedom.
Counting all things loss and following hard after Him means counting the cost of salvation. Jesus didn’t die so that we could live a comfortable life, or a busy life or a worldly productive life, but a life in which we are FREE from any other master aside from Him, a life in which we are to be transformed to be like Him, transformed into His glory. A life in which we live for the gospel. My job is to love God and love people, to further the gospel. The THINGS of life can drown this out, and I pray that during this time, we can place our focus back on these simple truths.
Paul continues Philippians with his desire and our desire to be found in Him not having a righteousness of our own derived from the Law (or my own desires or achievements), but that which is through faith in Christ. (3:9)…. “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.” (3:13)
What lies behind you that is holding you back from reaching toward Christ? Do you, like me, need to let go of THINGS that are hindering you from truly knowing and following Jesus? He is calling you to move toward Him.
“Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all THINGS to himself.” (3:13-14,20)
Don’t let the earthly THINGS of this life hold you back. Reach for your goal of becoming like Jesus. Your upward call to the GLORY of CHRIST awaits. It is here and now.
Trinity Family, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (1:3,6)
Love you all! It’s my joy to be united in spirit with all of you.