journey through Philippians – chapter 3

No confidence in the flesh!
“Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” Romans 8:8, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” Romans 8:6, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh,” Galatians 5:16. There are so many Bible verses that speak about the flesh and how we ought not to gratify it’s desires because it leads to death. Are you confident in your flesh? or are you aware that your flesh can lead you into sin? Temptations will always be there, its just the way of life, but it doesn’t mean that when we become christians the temptations will disappear 🙅🏽‍♀️🙉 no! as a matter of fact they will even be more, because you will now be alienating yourself from your previous type of lifestyle. However, there is always a way out, we’ve been given the power of free will to know and choose what is right from wrong, remembering that, “no temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bare. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1Corinthians 10:13 in the words of the teacher, there is nothing new under the sun!

Therefore beloved, “rejoice in the Lord,” and “watch out for those dogs, those people who do evil, those mutilators who say you must be circumcised to be saved.” It’s interesting how people back then we’re confident of salvation by virtue of circumcision, and Paul calls them evil doers. I think I can equate this scenario to when other believers think that baptism is all they need to get to Heaven! Don’t get me wrong am not refuting water baptism, by all means it’s very important, however, it’s not a guarantee ticket. Salvation is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and every day, we have to make an effort to get to know Him, get to read His Word and spend time with Him in prayer, rejoicing in Him, no matter what situation comes our way, remembering He’s very words, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

”For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by His Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh – though I myself have reasons for such confidence.” Paul had every reason to put confidence in the flesh, but he didn’t! he had gone through all the Jewish customs, circumcised on the 8th day, from the tribe of Benjamin, a Pharisee, I mean this guy had everything going for him, “but whatever were gains to him, he now considered loss for the sake of Christ.” What are the titles you’ve gained in life? what positions do you hold in society? have they blinded you in your walk with God and you’re now feeling more important and cannot worship or do things like everybody else? It’s good to work hard and archive wealth in life, however we shouldn’t value them as more important than Christ our Lord. All our titles, all our wealth, everything that we value down here, we will leave it here and if you don’t know Christ, then fact of the matter is, you will perish. Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING that we ever need in this life.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” There is a song by Robin Mark that goes,

‘All I once held dear, built my life upon, All this world reveres and wars to own, All I once thought gain I have counted loss, Spent and worthless now, compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus, Knowing You, There is no greater thing, You’re my all, you’re the best, You’re my joy, my righteousness And I love You, Lord.

Now my heart’s desire is to know You more To be found in You and known as Yours To possess by faith what I could not earn All-surpassing gift of righteousness

Oh, to know the power of Your risen life And to know You in Your sufferings To become like You in Your death, my Lord So with You to live and never die

I had to share the lyrics of the song, because they are so powerful! Once you know the importance of having an intimate relationship with Christ, then you will see that nothing else matters but Him. “I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of His resurrection and participation in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians is a book that I read just a few verses, but I purposed to have a #Biblereadingculture, which has seen me read the Bible in details, journal everything I have learnt and its amazing how much information is in the Bible. As I read chapter 3, a question came into mind, how well do we know Christ and the power of His resurrection? Have we fully participated in His sufferings or have we prayed them away? Have we put to death the flesh and all its desires, all that the world has to offer? and in this way, become like Christ in death, that we may attain eternal life? It’s one thing to say you’re saved, and its a whole thing living your life according to the ways that God has called us to be. But just like Paul, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.”

None of us is perfect, none of us has ‘reached,’ that level so to speak, but every day we press on! every day we pick up our cross and follow Jesus! though the road may seem dark and there’s lots of uncertainty, press on and don’t give up child of God. Your past may be dark, your past may be full of pain, but, “forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” Keep you eyes on the prize! We have an end goal, we have a trophy to possess, The Lord Jesus Himself, He is our prize, and so our focus shouldn’t be on earthly things, but on things above.

There’s already a lot of fake prophets and people who call themselves men and women of God, but their goal has been to deceive the people of God and to make money. Matthew reminds us in 7:15 to “watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruits you will recognise them.” Lies have an expiry date and the truth always has a way of coming out, therefore watch out for the fakes and “keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” My heart breaks for the young people in this generation (not that am old lol) but I know who I am, however more and more young people are deceived into knowing the truth and so they get lost in the hype of the moment. Drugs, social media and a following to post pictures in order to be liked by people who you don’t even know, and whenever you don’t match up, depression kicks in and before we know it, they’ve committed suicide – how sad. Be authentic, be you!

The sad reality is that, “many live as enemies of the cross of Christ,” and they want absolutely nothing to do with salvation. However, “their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach (greed) and their glory (pride) is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.” Jesus reminds us in Matthew 7:13-14 to, “enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” The problem we have is wanting everything to ourselves, curiosity, which we know very well killed the cat! The desire for wisdom and knowledge of everything, first started in the garden when the devil lied to Adam and Eve and they disobeyed God, rebellion kicked in and as they say the rest is history. The devil has lied to so many people who now think that salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ is a way of making them loose out and not have fun in life and so they oppose it and call it boring, forgetting that not all that glitters is gold and one day, their partying ways will only bring destruction.

For for us who are following the narrow path, those following the way of the cross, “our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His Glorious body.” Wow! I am a citizen of Heaven, my name is registered in Heaven, written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and one day my Saviour, The Saviour of the whole universe will come and when He does, He will transform our lowly, no importance bodies into glorious, worthy immortal bodies, this brings a smile onto my face and peace onto my soul.

Whatever country you’ve being born into, whatever status you might have, if your name isn’t registered in Heaven, if you’re not a citizen, then today, if you hear His voice, harden not your heart!

Memory verse Philippians 3:20 "but our citizenship is in Heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ."

Blessings!!

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