Philippians 1:12-14 (Emphasis mine)
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, 13 so that my imprisonment IN THE CAUSE OF CHRIST has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, 14 and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.
Today, I focused on ‘in the cause of Christ’ and asked myself some questions:
While I am not in a prison, do I do what I do because of Christ, or are there other reasons?Am I promoting the Gospel with my actions, my behavior?
And my response needs to be either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For me this is a black and white issue; I don’t really have to wonder if I am doing it.
Now, I find it totally opposite of my pre-Christian days when I believed that being good enough warranted Heaven for me…and, yet, if you were to ask me what ‘good enough’ meant, I would have assuredly point you to the bad people, which I surmised were either all in prison or soon to be going there. And that type of thinking did not seem odd to me for others I knew were of the same mindset as me. And during this time, I readily believed that some people were extreme in their faith, namely those who vocalized that Jesus was the only way to heaven and. that all without Him you would be eternally lost. While I accepted that part of Jesus being the only way, I thought they went a bit overboard by preaching a Hell for those who did not believe this way.
Ah, yes, during my pre-Christian days, I felt confident (shudder! shudder!) that my moral standing would keep me on the right path for heaven. So, I know I would have looked up ‘in the cause of Christ’ as something that everyone who was good enough just did, and, again, some just did it to an extreme, namely born-again Christians…at least as I looked at it.
Back then, I would call myself a fence sitter, as I saw a lot of gray in what living as a Christian might mean. Basically, I had a view of Scripture as a book of good morals that were not meant to be taken literally, but only applicable if a person had the ability. (I was, unwittingly, telling God that I expected Him to make exceptions for me!)
Not anymore: black or white
Living like this is liberating because it leaves no room for doubt: Christ is the Way, God’s word is plain. The Holy Spirt lives in me to show me how to walk in faith So, each day, I can make the decision to live for the cause of Christ.
This type of living is not one of arrogance, but it is one of confidence as I continually am made aware that I ‘have not arrived’, but I press on towards the goal for which Christ has received for me.
While Paul’s letter to the Philippians was written from a jail cell, he is showing me that his imprisonment did not enslave him to his surroundings because of his confidence in Christ’s cause.
And I am beginning to think that when we are not living for the cause of Christ, that we are the ones who are imprisoned because while we know about the power of God, we have succumbed to mediocrity through living life in the hear and now.
What do you think keeps Christians from experiencing the reality of being mindful of Christ 24/7?