“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death” (Philippians 1:20).
Today I have the earnest reminder about how hard it is for me to stay on task when my life is encompassed with immeasurable odds that drain my emotional and cognitive resources below a breaking point. It is hard to be at my best and make good decisions about eternal matters when I feel the pressure of the vice tightening every day. A normal reaction is a reaction that usually is not the best response; therefore, my earnest hope and expectation is that is the things that we must go through in life that in all that I do that I will bring glory to God.
Keeping Expectations High
Paul’s aspiration was, “my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed” I am reminded today about how I will feel very much ashamed if I do not yield to Jesus the areas of my life that He requires me to yield to Him. It is as if Paul were saying, “My solitary purpose in life is to be fully committed give the very best for His glory.” Keeping expectations high and arriving at that level of resolute commitment is a matter of exercising the will, not of reasoning my way through a set of facts. Therefore, keeping expectations high requires an absolute and complete surrender of the will to the purpose of Christ. Staying on target means that today that I have to take myself out of the center of the equation and put Christ and His purpose at the center of every decision that I make.
Thinking about my needs and myself too much feeds the fleshly need to I have to be satisfied and happy at every moment and distracts my thoughts away from the primary goal of placing my thoughts, expectation, and hope on Christ in every decision. The danger within self-absorbed distraction is that I can pretend to care for others and neglect my care for Christ by ignoring the central purpose of Christ in the gospel. Keeping expectations high means that the message and purpose of the gospel must be at the center of everything that I do today. The purpose of Christ is to win the lost and disciple the believer for His glory alone.
Keeping expectations high means that grace cannot be selective; it must be available to all and must not simply result in compassion, but a challenge to life change. As I ponder God’s call seriously and what it will cost others —and if I do not obey the call of Jesus, I will lower the expectations of the gospel for myself and the people’s lives that I touch; then, we will not know what obedience to the gospel means.
Keeping expectations, high means that I must shut out every other thought and keep myself before God in the gospel of Christ alone. Therefore, I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.
An Unquenchable Thirst for His Holiness
Paul says, “Whether it means life or death —it makes no difference!” Paul states that he was determined that no obstacle would deter him from doing exactly what God wanted him to complete.
However, something that I gleaned from this passage reveals that before I choose to be obedient to the gospel and follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in my life. This happens when I tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler attempts to gain my attention. He brings me to the place where He asks me to surrender to a radical faith in Jesus Christ that put’s the Gospel first above all else and then I begin to debate with Him. So, God, providentially produces a crisis that puts me in a place where I must decide for or against a life centered in the gospel of Christ.
That moment becomes a greatest crossroads in life and if you have found yourself at a crisis of faith and belief, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably that Christ might be glorified.
Father, in the scope of your sovereign power and with the touch of your grace, breathe Your precious Holy Spirit upon every person who reads these words today.—how I long to be face to face with You today. Forgive my inability to pay attention when I should, awaken me oh Lord to what is possible through the power of the gospel of Christ.