My, Devotion to Him #287
Verse Passage: Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – NIV
I want to explore a few things within this passage with you. First, I got this new Bible, which may not be meaningful to some, but it is to me. This Bible is different than others I have. When I graduated, the church I was attending gave me one with my name on it. It holds a place in my heart. Even more now since we do not live in that area any longer. The other ones I have are on my laptop and phone. I use one to help study when doing devotionals and when I am on the go. Over the years, I’ve had my eyes set on a specific Bible but never bought it. This Bible highlights every passage with a color, representing a theme (family, faith, love, etc). I ended up getting this Bible as a Christmas gift and was beyond happy. Recently I cracked it open going over various passages and landed in Philippians.
This feeling inside came to me. So, I stopped and read the passaged that is above. I like this one because it talks about a few intriguing things to me. Paul talks about prayer. He wrote this book to the church at Philippi. In this passage, he says that he prays with joy because of a partnership. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is essential, but a partnership with like-minded people is more important.
A partnership is between two or more people who contribute to the group—prayer, resources, encouragement, and being in agreement.
Having a partnership can give you a boost in confidence, energy, and determination. I’ve been fortunate since doing Spirit Warrior Ministry to have two very close people who read every single thing I write, provide encouragement, prayer, insight, and remain in agreement. However, there are others, but two have engaged fully since the start.
We need this. Even though writing devotionals may sound like a lone wolf type of mission, I still rely on others. It’s not a bad thing, and as we cultivate these partnerships, we find something very different than anything we’ve been a part of—other social events, groups, etc. Paul has joy because no matter the situation he may be in, he knows he is a part of a partnership with others who actively pray, encourage, and remain in agreement. So even though his faith and relation with God are strong and he draws from that, there is still a need to partner with others.
The other topic in this passage is Paul mentioning that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion.”
How many times have we given up? We’ve tried all that we can and know to do, but it’s just not enough to get to the finish line? I’ve been there plenty of times, and that’s just in daily life. What about our spiritual life? Maybe we’ve worked on trying to change something about ourselves and can’t quite get there, so we stop. Or perhaps we try to do better about reading our Bible, getting more into worship, working on our giving but just haven’t gotten to that place we wanted to be in the time we thought it would take, so we stopped. Truth be told, I suffered a harsh dose of this. I knew God was calling Mariah and me into the ministry. We both felt so strongly about a particular type of ministry. So, we decided to leap, and we were shut down church after church. Some linked it to what I write in these devotionals (I thought that was strange too.) Others didn’t like what I said when we were in the interviews. Plus, I know for sure I missed a chance with a great pastor for myself getting in the way. After 30 denials, I stopped. Confused and frustrated, I didn’t understand how this could happen when I knew 100% I was supposed to be in ministry. Even if I could justify that I wasn’t supposed to be, I’ve lost count on how many other people spoke over me declaring such words. So, in the midst of everything, I retreated. I continued to write devotionals and spent more time in prayer pouring myself out to God.
Through prayer, I found hope again. He was not done. A retreat is not defeat because I retreated back to Him. I went back to my source, my shelter, teacher, guide, helper, and back to the very One who placed such a call and desire within me. Maybe where I thought I should be was not where He wanted me. Could I have missed hearing where He wanted me? Yes. Did I miss Him calling me? No. Because He was not done with me or the plans He has for me. This is just one of several stories I could tell, but the fact remains, He is not done! Sure, you’re not reading the way you want, praying as much, or whatever it is you are trying to change or do. It’s okay because God is not done with you. He began a good work within you. Maybe you might be in a spot where you don’t know where to go. That’s okay. Go back to the source!
This right here can be the boost we need. The exact encouragement we are searching for. God has not given up on you even if you’ve given up on yourself. God is the master sculptor, and He is molding you for purpose! Because of this, we should take a moment and reset our thinking. If you haven’t made a resolution yet, don’t bother, and if you have, I want you to do this as well.
Take a moment and declare God is not done with me! He began a good work in me and has a plan for me because I have a purpose in this life!
Today I hope you grab ahold tightly to this. If God hasn’t given up on you yet, then it might be time to get up and start making another push to do better and be better. So work on getting yourself into a partnership. Let’s see where God takes us this year and beyond!
Copyright © 2022 by Jacob Olinger