Philippians 3:2-3 “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
There is a subtle snare laid for us by our enemy.
Satan knows he cannot win with a full-frontal assault on our lives. He allows smaller victories and gets us to believe that we made it all come about in the flesh; giving no glory to the God whose grace, mercy, love, and power wrought the victory through us. If we do not recognize just, Who did what in our life, we grow confident in our own flesh.
Satan not only wants us to step into the spotlight reserved for our Heavenly Father, but he also uses others who are deceived to draw us with them away from God.
The term ‘dog‘ denotes an unruly, malicious, unclean, and one who uses brute force in word or deed to get their own way. Paul admonishes the church in Philippi to beware of those who would come feigning to be saved only to tear them apart from the inside out.
Those ‘evil workers‘ are the hypocrites who act one way in church and utterly and totally opposite outside of the church house. Often, they lure weak ones who are struggling; unsure of the doctrines taught or not in submission to the authority placed over them and teach them false doctrine; creating a following that will one day usurp the present, God-ordained authority.
The ‘concision‘ are those who are religious and work contrary to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in the church. If we preach or teach the flock to follow through oppression, guilt, or shame, it becomes a legalistic mess. When the work we do and the gauge of our spirituality are placed upon how we perform and the results of our work, we will utterly fail to accomplish that which God desires and designed for us.
We are called to obey. We all have gifts and talents to do that which God designed us to do and to be in the body of Christ. All too often, we become satisfied with the work and fruit we can accomplish in the flesh. I can read all the books on “How To…”; practice their methodology, preach their messages, and bring all those who follow into conformity; but I will miss the voice of the Holy Spirit as He desires to guide us to submit to the will and way of the Heavenly Father.
If the Apostle Paul were alive today, I wonder if I would hear him willingly as the churches did in his day? Would I be willing to be placed under the microscope of a Spirit-filled, Spirit-led man of God? Could I receive the admonitions, correction willingly and possibly the rebuke of such a man?
This week in our country is a time to remember those who so diligently fought for our independence. May it also be a time for God’s people to fight for our independence from the flesh and dependence on the Holy Spirit’s leadership and guidance in our life.