So far in Philippians we are seeing that joy comes from having good friends who love and like us, who we can be ourselves with. This includes Jesus as our best friend. We cultivate good friends by fighting together side-by-side, humbling ourselves as Jesus did. We don’t cling to our rights, but for the love of others, lay ourselves down, thinking about other people more than we think about our own lives and our own comfort.

Knowing the Bible is not the same thing as letting Scripture form and change us. The reason we spend so much time in the Bible is to put ourselves in the place of being changed from the inside out. If we don’t apply what we learn, it is an empty exercise.

Before we move on this week, I’d like to ask you to spend some time with the Holy Spirit. Make some time this week to get alone with God. Calm your mind, center on Jesus. If the Holy Spirit points out anything that is in the way, ask for forgiveness and let it fall away.

Now, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you care most about. Take time with this. When something comes to mind, dig deeper into what it is and why you care about it. Look to see if there is any fear attached to it. Then look to see how loving it is. Ask the Lord, “in this area of my life, what would love look like?”

Now, go a little deeper. Consider to what extent you are humble before God and before people. What would it take for you to prefer other people? How can you let your own rights and privileges take a back seat to the needs of others?

Finish this time by asking the Holy Spirit to solidify Jesus’ own humility in your life. Ask if there is any particular thing the Lord is wanting you to begin doing, or to stop doing. Ask for help and courage to obey.