Welcome to another bible study as we continue to unpack the book of Philippians and begin to apply it to our lives. Today we are going to talk about an incredibly important game of follow the leader.
Commentary and Explanation of Philippians 3:17-19
I have a pretty old GPS in my car. I probably should get it updated, but I keep putting it off. It works well for the most part, but there are times where it just isn’t right.
In those times, I still unwittingly follow it and it takes me in a completely different direction. I find myself far from where I intended to be.
Just the other day, we were following another family member who was following their GPS and ended up driving in circles right beside where we really wanted to go.
Our lives are moving forward. Time keeps going whether we are ready or not. So this becomes an important question. What is your intended destination?
In what direction are you headed and who do you trust to follow along the way? We need to always be aware of the examples that we follow.
All of us, even the most independent, are influenced by others and so we want to choose these individuals carefully. If we follow the people who influence us, will we find ourselves at the destination that we wanted for our lives?
In Philippians 3:17-19 Paul says,
“Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us. For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”
We need to look at this verse from two different perspectives.
First, we need to make sure that we are following the right examples and moving in the right direction.
We must look beyond charisma and personality to see a person’s heart. Are they following Jesus and are they a good example of how God works in our lives? Having great examples can propel you further along your faith journey. Seeing how others have run this race before us can encourage and equip us to handle obstacles as they appear.
But be careful that we don’t step into idol worship here. We are all still sinners and even our best examples will be flawed. We definitely don’t want to become a cult of personality.
However, following the right examples is so incredibly important. Paul gives us a vivid description of the destination of those who follow the wrong path. They are enemies of the cross, their end is destruction and their only gains are shame and earthly things that will one day crumble to dust.
So pray that God gives you people in your life to serve as an example of His goodness. Observe how they live, how they handle crisis and success. Learn how they treat people and love others. Soak it all in and follow in those same steps.
The second thing we need to think about in this verse is that we should be the example for someone else.
As we are looking to others to be our example, someone is looking to you. Let the light of God shine through you, not just for your own benefit, but also for all of those who will follow your lead. It is a sobering thought to know that our actions affect others so profoundly.
I do not want to be the one that leads someone else to a destination of destruction. I pray that God will give us all the strength and wisdom to lives as remarkable examples of a Christ-centered life.
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me in God’s Word. If this was a blessing to you, please share it with someone who could use some encouragement.