Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30)
(40/365 days of Fear Not)
If you have a God-given dream.
If you are living out a God-given purpose.
If you are co-creating a God-designed life.
You should realize that the gospel of Christ is no small part of your dream, your purpose, your life.
And so the words that Paul wrote are meant for you: conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Those words, that admonition, plays on a continuous loop in my heart, mind and soul and it both encourages and frightens me. But I’m pretty sure that God knew living out a God-given purpose in this world would inspire these mixed emotions in us.
Because I’m pretty sure that the sovereign, omnipotent Creator knew what we would need to hear and remember this refrain. All of the plans and good works that He designed for His people, all of the plans and passion and desires that He planted in His children’s hearts would necessarily involve the gospel and therefore require strength and courage and Him to fulfill.
He predicts the opposition we will encounter.
He foretells the suffering we will endure.
He indicates the struggles we will face.
And so He provides His constant refrain for us to hide in our hearts: do not be afraid.
Though you face these things, like Paul, like Peter, like John, like Timothy, like countless pilgrims and sojourners who have gone before, you will not be afraid.
You will succeed at your mission as long as you stand firm and do not shy away from who God created you to be and what He created you to do. Standing firm in the Spirit. Striving for the faith of the gospel. Living a life worthy of Jesus.
Despite what you may sometimes think or feel, God reminds you that you can do this without being frightened in any way of those who oppose you.
Sometimes, because of the broken and hurting world and the me-centric culture in which we live, it becomes tempting to separate living out a God-given dream and purpose from living out a life worthy of the gospel. But that is not what God calls us to when He calls us to work with Him and fight beside Him and co-create with Him to change this world.
Our dreams will bring God’s kingdom to bear on this world that desperately needs hope.
But only if we are living out the full picture of that God-given dream and God-given purpose and that faith of the gospel.