what i love about it is that God is able to teach me Himself, through His spirit. don't get me wrong, i looove me some Beth Moore [that's obvious if you've read my blog for very long], and have learned so much from Bible teachers. but to learn exactly what God would have me learn that day, straight from His Word and through His spirit? that's priceless if you ask me.
take Philippians 1:12-18
Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly.
It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
so, Paul is in prison for preaching the gospel. and he's just glad that this has increased others' tenacity to preach the gospel, even if that means he stays in prison. and even though some of them are preaching so that he stays in prison. Paul's highest priority was the gospel. period. he didn't care why people shared Christ, or where, or what trouble it got him into as a result. he just wanted the gospel to spread.
is that my highest priority? i don't even have to think about that for one second. no, it's not. it's not my highest priority above anything else. would i be fine with imprisonment, if it meant that souls were reached for Christ? i'll be honest with you. i don't want to go to prison. not ever.
but i thought of something else that really does apply to me right now... if the gospel is my highest priority, can i give up comparison? can i give up competition and jealousy and envy? can i look at others who may be more successful or influential or far-reaching than i am, and thank God that the gospel is spreading, no matter what. it's not about us, or our ministry growing, or our blog growing, or whatever else we think it's about.
it's about Him, and it's about lost souls coming to know Him. however that happens, we should rejoice.