“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that
you will have a full understanding of every good thing
we have in Christ.” Philemon 6
There are many good things which the Father has given us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 1:3 states this as follows: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Paul states in Philemon 6 that a full understanding of every good thing comes with being active in sharing our faith. Bob Jacks, author of “Your Home a Lighthouse,” describes this activity as “breaking out of our roots, taking risks, moving out of our comfort zone, and being flexible in the face of the unknown.” Sharing our faith in Christ creates a dependence upon Him to act, rather than to look to something within ourselves.
One of the good things that Christ has for us as we share our faith is a deeper understanding of our dependence upon Him in prayer. In the last year I have met a young man weekly as we have read the Gospel of John. Each week we have looked at different aspects of our Lord’s life. Although he has maintained an interest in the scriptures, there had been little indication until recently that the truth of the Gospel was taking root in the soil of his heart. I was reminded many times of the verse in Mark 4: 26-27. “He also said, ‘This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.” The seed had been scattered on the ground of this man’s life. I was powerless to cause it to sprout and grow. The only recourse was to remain faithful in prayer. In prayer, we cast our cares for others on the Lord. In prayer, we recognize Him as the Author and Perfecter of their salvation. In prayer, we bring to Him the souls in which he has given us opportunity to sow the word. In prayer, we declare our utter dependence upon Him. Last week, as we met he related that he was beginning to understand the implications of the Gospel for his life. His objections to the Gospel, which were many, have now disappeared as he has stated a desire to look into the Bible for the answers to his life. The Lord is answering prayer in his behalf.
As we continue in prayer for the lost, we discover further understanding of another “good thing” we have in Christ, and that is His peace. Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” His peace enables us to quiet our hearts as we labor with Him for the lives of the lost. G. Campbell Morgan once defined peace as the “the confidence of God’s love.” Christ manifested this confidence as he spoke to the Jews in John 6:45: “It is written in the prophets. ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the father and learns from him comes to me.” The Lord gave me His peace as I recalled meeting in a Bible study with a young man years ago. We had met weekly for nearly three years with no indication of any understanding on his part. He surprised me one day by relating that the truth of the Gospel had dawned upon him just that week. He had placed his trust in Christ, and began praying for his wife. The next week he started a prayer group in his church! As I remember what Christ had done in the past in this man’s life I am enabled to have His peace for the labors of the present.
We are involved in a great battle for the souls of mankind. Through prayer, we depend on Him to do His work in the lives of the lost. With the peace that He gives, we can declare that His work, though not visible to our eyes, is actually being performed.
May His peace fill you with confidence as you look to Him in prayer for the salvation of the lost.