Bible Reading: Philippians 3:7-11
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ” (Phillippians 3:7)
Recall the moments after we attend church retreats. We leave behind good memories and fun times but also leave with renewed hearts, revived hearts, and a new passion for serving and knowing God who is the ultimate Truth. Contrast that with our daily life — school routines, packed schedules, afternoon tea cravings and hectic morning rushes. Maybe, some of you are reading this on the bus, train or car to school!
The point is, the times we had to retreat and reflect on life for extended periods of time are temporary. Daily life, with all its pressures and struggles, has returned. My question for us all is this — after returning to our daily lives, do we now see and overcome the lies we once believed in? Are there lies we continually fall into?
One of the most dangerous things about lies is that we believe them. Lies are so evil because we believe them to be true. We can’t see with our own eyes our flaws. Even if we have overcome a few lies we talked about, Satan has endless arrays in his weaponry. We are not strong or capable on our own. We must pray for God’s help, who in Christ has won the victory over evil. We should also share the struggle with others in love within the church. Ask our spiritual mentors, whoever they may be, to point out the lies they see we believe in.
One of Satan’s oldest tricks is to lie to us about satisfaction and joy. This is evident from the recount of Eve! Firstly, Satan lies about God. Satan questions Eve, “did He really say you couldn’t eat from this tree?” Satan longs for weak Christians like us to plummet in doubt and questions about God. Satan wants us to question, “can God really satisfy me?” “if God exists, why is my life hard and miserable?”, “God doesn’t really care or understand my deepest emotional needs”.
After these lies, Satan will deceive by saying, “look at your worldly friends, they have joy and satisfaction in gossiping, having lots of friends to party with, social media and tv shows”, and the list goes on. Satan really wants us to fall that we waste the limited time we have here on earth. Satan cannot take away our salvation which is secure in the blood of Christ. However, Satan can deceive us into living lukewarm lives that have no significance in His work.
God’s truth to these lies can be found in Paul’s discourse to the Phillippians. He shares His own testimony and points out how once He found Christ, all else became “rubbish” in comparison. Who can say the same as Paul? Who understands what it means to be dead, now alive, to be blind but now sees?
Most times, our joy and satisfaction are not in the Lord and His Word. In theory, it should be. In reality, it doesn’t play out. We become happy and satisfied when we have lots of friends and fit in. We can’t stand up and say that our greatest desire is to know God.
Consider verse 9, “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith”. Paul is resolved with joy in his heart about the greatest thing he ever knew. He saw that all he thought would satisfy him until God Himself rebuked Him and turned Him back into the right path to be used by Him.
If our desires and love for God are still mixed and weak, pray and ask God to create in us pure hearts. Seek with your whole heart a life that grows in understanding the glory of God’s truth and our sinfulness.
Lord, please shape a heart like Paul in me. Let my heart be filled with love for You at all times. Please help to trust in You in the midst of my community who are living in lies. Change my heart and let me grow to see and taste just how wonderful and gracious this is. Thank You, God, for all your leading and faithfulness in my life. In Jesus’ name, amen.