Is the Word Working?

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

It was after an argument the remembrance of this scripture came. An argument over little things that turned into big things. A classic marriage moment. Walking away heated, this is what I thought about. Quickly, the difficulty of this passage settled into me. “Have this mind”. The mind of Christ. This emptying, humbling, obedient, servant-like mindset. When all I wanted to do was prove my point and win the fight.

The word of God is for these very moments. Everyday we wake up and we get before His word. Some of us for only a few moments and some of us are given more time. But every moment is a worthy moment as we seek to know Christ. Whether it’s a feast or a breadcrumb, our heart stores His word’s of Life. We have a storehouse from which the Holy Spirit draws from and brings to mind what He has taught us, just as the example above.

Within me I began working this scripture out. I questioned what the point of the scripture was. Verses I have memorized and quoted many times began to unfold differently to me. The gist of my thoughts were working through the progression of these verses. Practically I thought, “Okay. So I need to be humble. I need to consider my husband’s need as more important than my own. And then…I’ll be exalted?” Surely the goal of these verses were not my exaltation. In that moment I realized I had been approaching this passage with a self-absorbed mindset.

The crescendo of this passage is not about our exaltation. It is not a formula for our relationships. The end-goal in fact has little to do with me. The end-goal is not exaltation but conformity to Christ. Transformation comes when we learn where exaltation truly belongs. The transforming power of the gospel in our lives does not come apart from our circumstances. We are transformed through our circumstances. God uses every moment in our lives to teach us what we really believe. Revealing to us whether or not we are depending on God’s word or just merely consuming it. The purpose of this mindset, which is ours in Christ Jesus, is not so that we will win our fights or be seen as exalted in the hearts of those we are in relationship with. The purpose, as we learn to lay our lives down in our circumstances, is we are becoming more like Jesus. To share in His suffering and grow in intimacy with His ways. This can only come through practice. Practicing His way. Practicing the way of the cross. And rejoicing not in our glorification but in our transformation. We are being made more like Jesus. Pause in that reality for a moment. That is the greatest comfort and the highest honor for those who love him.

Remember that God’s word is never wasted. Every time you dwell upon His word’s of Life there is an arsenal of weaponry being filled for a future purpose. Remember that often God works out His word through your circumstances and not separate from them (Philippians 2:13). Finally, rejoice in the glorious truth that God has called us to a cross-bearing life not out of cruelty but out of love. That we might taste a greater intimacy and come to know the joy of His truth. Hold tightly to the God-Man who is changing us from one degree of glory to the next—amidst our messy lives—for the everlasting purpose that we might glorify Christ by enjoying Him…forever.