Text: Philippians 1:27-30
Theme: Fighting for the faith with other believers is a struggle and a privilege.
Key verses: “Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ…you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given…the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together…I am still in the midst of it” (v. 27-30).
What God said to me: The struggle is real, and the fight is coming. It’s inevitable that if you stand up for me in the world you will have tribulations. People will oppose you. I created and shaped you to naturally be a peace-maker who tries to avoid conflict. However, that does not let you off the hook in joining and aiding the good fight of faith. No Christian follower of mine can scathe through life unharmed and unaffected by the darkness around them. You will face trouble and opposition. The powers of darkness, the forces of evil that are so prevalent in the world hate any believer who stands for me and boldly proclaims their faith. Paul was encouraging his friends and flock in Philippi to stand their ground and not be intimidated by their enemies. In that case Paul was referring to literal people as their enemies. But, as Paul said so clearly in Ephesians 6, your real enemy is unseen and more powerful than you can imagine. You cannot defeat the devil and his forces apart from me. Greater than “he who is in the world” is me who lives in you. Hold fast to your convictions and your assurance that you are going to be saved–even by the God of the Universe who holds your life in my hands.
What I said to God: Thank You Lord and Savior. You are my Protector and Encourager. You are my Guide. I will trust in You at all times. Please help me be bold to stand up for what I know to be right, regardless of the fall-out and push-back I get from those who would seek to destroy our values and stomp on our beliefs.