My Bible opened to Philippians this morning and I started reading in chapter 3. I stopped at the second verse, which says “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of mutilation!” My face contorted in puzzlement and I figured I’d better find out what Paul was trying to say here. He was, in short, warning the Philippian church about legalists who were trying to sabotage the gospel.
Okay, that was all fine and good for the early church, but what did this mean for me today? I had no idea. So I prayed and asked God to open the eyes of my understanding and give me some insight into all of this bewaring. He showed me some interesting things.
There are dogs and evil workers everywhere, still trying to sabotage the gospel of Jesus Christ. They come in the form of preachers spewing false doctrine. Governments removing anything resembling Christian morals, symbols, and practice. Parents protesting Christian influence in schools. Seeker-friendly churches with a watered down Jesus. Church members who come across as the faithful ones, but are only concerned with fulfilling their own agendas. The sad part is that the majority of these people truly believe they are doing the right thing. And they often have no idea that they are contributing to the mutilation of Christians and non-Christians alike by filling their minds with the enemy’s propaganda.
Are these harsh words? Absolutely.
Is this what Philippians 3:2 really means? Maybe. Maybe not. But I believe that the Lord has shown me truth regardless.
The Bible doesn’t beat around the bush. You can interpret your way around any portion of scripture to make it mean what you want it to mean, but the bottom line is that there are no shortcuts in the Christian walk. The Word says what the Word says. If you don’t agree, then I suggest you get down on your knees and discuss it with God.
I don’t always like what I read in the Bible. There is much that I would rather overlook, because if I really take it for what it says, it means I have some adjusting to do. And those adjustments are usually painful.
But every adjustment, every change, every life lesson makes me stronger and better equipped to beware of the dogs and evil workers. I thank God for His love and mercy and guidance in my life.
I am encouraged and motivated when I read further in Philippians 3:10 – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.
And so . . .
. . . I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)