So last Friday (not the one just 3 days ago) we had a BBS (Brief Bible Study) on a passage in Philippians that involved the following phrase:
[…] holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.
-Philippians 2:16, ESV
There are a few implications that I want to recap for context for those of you who are reading this and weren’t there.
This is Paul talking to the Philippians. His hope for them is that they “[hold] fast to the word of life” in other words, salvation. Why does he hope this for the church? so that he may not have “run [or labor] in vain.”
What does this imply about Paul’s attitudes? The salvation of others is Paul’s Number 1 Priority. This applies to the continued salvation (i.e. “holding fast to the word of life” aka “holding onto salvation”)
- What does this say about how we should act?
And yes, though this topic alone is sufficient for the topic of a post, I need to establish one more thing for context before this will make sense.
Prompting of the Holy Spirit
This is always something I’ve wrestled with. How do I know if God wants me to do something? Is it just me? Some hidden ambition? Until recently I was pretty sure when Bible verse would pop into my head, or verses would “pop out” at me, that would be indication.
So anyway, my friend, Mike (“Durandal7777777”) presented another way of looking and more encompassing but specific criteria I find to be more helpful**
- The pressing of the Holy Spirit is not impelling. This is contrasted with demonic possession, which can feel like you aren’t in control of your body.
- The pressing of the Holy Spirit will call you only to do/think things that are Biblical.
- We are called to “test the spirits”.
- “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (1 Jn. 4:1)
- The pressing of the Holy Spirit will call you only to do/say things that are edifying to others.
- The pressing of the Holy Spirit imparts knowledge that cannot be known any other way (“divine knowledge”).
- A common manifestation is that of statements that require knowledge of one’s feelings but spoken by one who should, by lack of interaction, have no knowledge of by earthly means.
Whew, that took a bit.
What Took Place
Now, to the meat of the post: So when I came upon poster on the ground floor of my dorm, it read:
My Issue with Christianity is…
It had only the date, time and place after that.
Immediately, I envisioned a small room with a discussion. Normally, I usually just walk away from such posters with disgust of that hostility towards religion that my college seems to have. But this time, I jumped immediately (yes, think light-bulb going off) to the realization, This is a great opportunity. Yes. Opportunity. People are gathering at a known place at a known time that are either
What an amazing opportunity. What are some things that you could be looking at differently if you looked at them through God’s eyes? Today, why don’t you ask the Lord to give you His vision, to see things as He sees them?
By His Grace,
**For the article I reference, it’s here.
PS: the fitting of this immediate inspiration is sufficient material for yet another post but I shall quickly summarize them
Impelling: certainly not, I can easily do nothing
Biblical: certainly the gospel is Biblical, in fact the priority is very Biblical (see above)
Edifying: this is similar to #2 in its obviousness. But this is also a work in progress.
Please pray for me that my speech would be truth with love and pointing only at Jesus, the Lord and Savior, and not at me
Divine Knowledge: I had no reason to believe the circumstances of my image were true.
Only upon further examination am I able to point at things that may make such a claim reasonable, such as the following:
placement and general availability: Unit 1 only
location of event: Unit 1
style of poster also points to an RA-type sponsored event. the location seems to fit as well
the style of the title implies an open discussion rather than a lecture based style
the fact that it’s likely to be a open discussion implies people who are seeks
in conclusion, it seems reasonable that it might be a good opportunity. There’s is, however, no reasonable, earthly explaination for how I can to these conclusions so quickly and with confidence that puzzles even me.
May His Name by Glorified