Paul’s Tug-of-War Focus
The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 1:24–25, “Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith.”
There’s a tug-of-war going on inside the apostle Paul. He would rather be in heaven—it’s his motivation, the foundation for his attitude, and an obsession for him. However, he ends this part of his epistle by saying, “I think it’s better that I remain here, in this body, for you.”
Paul wants to move on and be with Jesus more than anything; however, his hand is in the harvest. He knows there will be fruit from his labor and that it will be extremely beneficial for other people if he stays right here. He’s saying, “I’m going to stay here because you need me. God is making a difference through my life and I want to continue to work for the progress of your joy and faith.”
Three families—the Clonts, Krikacs, and Helmsworths—joined us when we moved from Southern California to Leipers Fork, Tennessee. They left family members, friends, and careers to join Sarah and me on this journey. We didn’t know anyone in Leipers Fork, but God led us in a new direction and these three families committed themselves to the mission and us. While we know God is building Grace Chapel, we also know that the faithfulness of these friends to remain with us, counsel us, and continue with us in ministry made all the difference. My life, Sarah’s life, and the lives of thousands of people have been changed because of the focus and sacrifice of these original three families. Grace Chapel will forever be indebted to these amazing Christians. For Sarah and me, they exemplify Paul’s focus: heart in heaven, hand in the harvest.
I want you to think about this: Will you get heavenly minded so you can be of some earthly good? Will you allow your heart to be so captured by the splendor, beauty, and awesomeness of the God of heaven that your life really changes? Will you allow that motivation, attitude, and focus to grip your heart so that you make a decision to serve other people, on this earth, for the Kingdom?
Let’s get our hearts in heaven and put out our hands into the harvest. Let’s stop making excuses and journey together into this tremendous opportunity that lies before us.
You can pick up a copy (Kindle, paperback or eBook formats) of my latest book, Between Heaven and Earth at Amazon or other booksellers. As you read it, you’ll discover a fresh view of Heaven as well as a determined focus to put your hand in the harvest.