” 22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For[a] I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you.”
Paul once again returns to the fact it he is torn between two places: remaining here or the desire he has to go to be with Christ. Now that he has dispatched Timothy to the Philippian Church he is much more confident they will be well taken care of if he should depart. At the same time he knows that his guidance and direction is still thought after highly by the Philippians, and by the rest of the churches for that matter.
He also recognize the fact that his labor will produce more fruit if he remains here and that of course is a plus. Paul took pleasure in the fact that his labor was not in vain. He had worked hard and suffered much for the gospel and never complained about that suffering. You can see 2nd Corinthians 11 for a list of what Paul went through. I don’t think any of us would endure such tribulations and keep on plugging away.
When I read these statements by Paul I have to reflect back on what my ministry has accomplished. I know that there have been several people they have accepted Christ during services I have held and there’s no greater joy I have ever had then leading someone to the Lord. It’s an awesome feeling and I can’t wait till the day I can do that again.
I remember one particular gentleman who came to the altar weeping. He had accepted Christ many years before and felt the call of God on his life to preach the gospel but he couldn’t quit smoking. The Lord told me to tell him to start preaching and He would take care of the smoking. This man ended up having a tremendous ministry and his smoking went away a few weeks after he started preaching.
You see, God will give us the words we need when it’s the right time. He will also work with us in our present condition if we will step out in faith to do what He asks us to do. He will make you fruitful but you need to do what He asked first. It can be a difficult thing to step out when we feel like we’re not worthy to be in that position. But God works miracles every single day.
I trust the Lord is working in your life today. What is keeping you from the labor that He has asked you to do? Whatever it is step out in faith and do what God has asked you to do today.
Lord, I thank you for all those who I have touched with the ministry you have blessed me with through the years. From Sunday School teacher to Men’s Ministry, to Worship Leader, song writer and preacher, many lives have been moved. Now I am going through my biggest battle ever, and I know that you are preparing me for a great time of ministry through the testimony that will come forth. Keep me humble through all this Lord, and help me to recognize when it’s time to start sharing what you have done.