Paul starts Philippians 3 with “rejoice in the Lord” and then goes on to exhort us to set aside all things “that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” He also provides the promise that our citizenship is truly in heaven. Chapter 3 starts with the “what” and “who” in that we should have joy and that we may gain Christ and be found in Him. And this chapter closes with the “why” and “where” in that our hope lies in the conforming of our body to His glorious body in heaven with our Lord and Savior. These details all help to illustrate context, but where the Holy Spirit is so needed is in the “how.” Zechariah 4:6 says, ’...Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord. We know this is a fundamental truth in our faith, yet we need to consider what keeps us from having joy in Him and rejoicing in the hope of heavenly citizenship. The answer...it’s the “bag of burdensome boulders” that we carry around. Not only can we be seen lugging our bag around but the trail it makes from dragging it through life is also evident. Now some of these “burdensome boulders” we carry because we won’t let go and some because we can’t. In either case, the burden is too much to bare alone and we need Jesus to talk to, to hear from, to be our strength in weakness, to be our vision in blindness, to surround us with a supportive fellowship, and to ultimately deliver us.
How many of us are carrying around burdens in the likeness of regret, disappointment, anger, sorrow, resentment, pain, worry, or insecurity? In Philippians 3:13, Paul tells us to have a bad memory. He tells us to forget those things behind us and reach forward. We need to encourage each other in pressing toward the goal for the prize knowing that it’s hard to move forward in one direction when we’re constantly looking backwards. Identify and label those boulders in your life, seek Godly guidance and encouragement, and then commit each one to Jesus. In Galatians 6:2, Paul says to “bear one another’s burdens…”. And Jesus says in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
My wife recently told me of an education webinar she attended. They were talking about scientific research conducted about the brain, and how children who are worried or constantly anxious inhibit their ability to learn and retain. This ultimately stunts their growth and progress in life.
In order to get through this life and lighten our load along the way, we need a helper and a teacher. In John 14:26 Jesus, in His great love for us, gives us this peaceful promise… “But THE Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things…”