If on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Philippians 3:15
When you plug in your toaster, you benefit from the results of a bitter feud from the late nineteenth century. Back then, inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla battled over which was the best kind of electricity for development: direct current (DC), like the current that goes from a battery to a flashlight; or alternating current (AC), which we get from an electrical outlet.
Eventually, Tesla’s AC ideas powered through and have been used to provide electricity for homes, businesses, and communities around the world. AC is much more efficient at sending electricity across great distances and proved to be the wiser choice.
Sometimes we need wisdom as we face issues of concern between believers in Jesus (see Romans 14:1–12). The apostle Paul called us to seek God’s help for clarity in such matters. He said, “If on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you” (Philippians 3:15). A few verses later, we see the results of two people who let a difference divide them—a conflict that grieved Paul: “I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord” (4:2).
Whenever a disagreement starts to tear us apart, may we seek God’s grace and wisdom in the Scriptures, the counsel of mature believers, and power of prayer. Let’s strive to “be of the same mind” in Him (v. 2).
How can you apply God’s grace and wisdom to a current battle of personal preferences? Why is prayer vital as you face this conflict?
Dear God, life is complicated. I have a situation, and I’m not sure which way to go. Please help me discern, with the help of the Holy Spirit, what to do next.
When Paul says “one thing I do” (Philippians 3:13), “one thing” refers to being single-minded or constantly driven by a single, all-encompassing purpose. Like an athlete who must ignore distraction to succeed (vv. 13–14), believers in Jesus are called to single-minded focus and action toward one purpose. That purpose is identified in verse 10: “to know Christ [and] the power of his resurrection and [to participate] in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”
To “know” Christ here, therefore, isn’t about intellectual knowledge but intimate, experiential “participation” (v. 10) in who Jesus is through our union with Him through the Spirit. As we draw ever closer to Christ through the Spirit, we also experience His resurrection power—and ultimately, when He returns, the resurrection of our bodies.