Going Deeper • Philippians 1:12-20 • JoyFull

Read through Philippians 1:12-20 before each Going Deeper Study, then look at the specific verses being emphasized for “Going Deeper”.
 
Going Deeper #1 – Prayer  
Read verse 19 of Philippians 1. Paul says that the sum of two separate forces is going to bring about his deliverance. Now it’s not shocking for Paul to say that prayer has power, but notice how much power He says it has. Look at the two clauses that Paul speaks of that will work together to bring about His deliverance. Doesn’t it seem that the help of the Spirit of Jesus would be enough to bring about Paul’s deliverance? If the being who has all authority and power in the universe is going to help you get your car started, does it matter if your uncle who is good with cars is helping? That’s a little what it seems like here, Jesus is working for Paul’s benefit, but so is the Philippians prayers. This might seem to lower Jesus’ power in our minds, while in Paul’s mind it elevates the power of prayer.
What area of your life have you been limiting the power of prayer? If you’re like me, that’s regretfully probably a lengthy list.
 
Going Deeper #2 – Proclaim Christ
Paul’s joy in this passage comes from the fact that Christ is being proclaimed and honored in his circumstance. If prison is not a bad circumstance, then what is a bad circumstance for Paul? Read Colossians 4:2-4. Colossians is another Prison epistle (a letter written from Prison), and Paul directs his readers to pray in a certain direction. What Paul thinks he needs prayer for in verse 4 is a window into what he wants to avoid. A bad circumstance for Paul is one in which Christ is not being proclaimed. How does this differ from circumstances that you and I want to avoid?
 
Going Deeper #3 – For Christ
Read the last few words of Philippians 1:13. In the ESV, the last two words are “for Christ”. I’m not sure how it works in the real world, but in movies about prison that I remember watching (Shawshank Redemption, Green Mile, The Longest Yard etc. )when prisoners are talking, they often ask each other the question “what are you in here for?”. It’s one thing for Paul to be able to say “I’m in here for Christ”, but imagine his guards saying, “that guy is in here for murder, the one next to him for insurrection, oh and that guy in the middle, he’s in here for His Savior, Jesus Christ”. His attitude must have been 180 degree’s different from his fellow prisoners. His fellow prisoners were responding to the situation and letting the situation control them, but Paul USED his situation and didn’t let it ruin Him because His hope was not ruined simply because His freedom was taken away. How can you use the hard circumstances in your life today, right now, to honor Christ?
 
Going Deeper #4 – Attitude Wildfire
Recently during the COVID-19 pandemic, prisons around the world were put in a difficult place because of how quickly a virus can spread in a dense population such as a prison system. It seems from verses 14-17 of Philippians 1 that a similar situation was happening in Paul’s prison, just not with a virus, but with an attitude and a hope. Paul’s attitude spread like wildfire through the population. The way Paul saw his imprisonment as an opportunity rather than a death sentence, changed how his fellow believers in prison saw their situation. What did this result in? Not only that joy rate in the prison, but eternity was impacted. Christ was proclaimed by many of the prisoners because one man lit the match of hope, and watched the fire spread.
 
Are there any situations that God might be calling you to change your attitude and perspective. Have your attitudes been negatively affecting believers around you when God could be using you to ignite hope and change in those around you if you chose to see the situation the way He does?

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