“Fail Army”

Ephesians 1:15–16 (NASB 95)

15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers

Examine / Explain

Paul, upon hearing of the maturing believers in Ephesus, does not cease to pray for them. This continuous act of prayer, despite their faith being in the process of growth, is a testament to the unity and shared journey of believers. He had heard about their faith and yet still continues to lift them up, fostering a sense of connection and shared spiritual growth.

How do I apply this to my life?

In our culture, how do we, as believers, hear about others’ faith on display? My first thought is YouTube. We can see sixty-second clips of street preachers arguing with people over the gospel. We get commentary from content creators on other churches and pastors because of something outlandish happening in front of a crowd. Do we watch and complain about where the church is headed? Do we scoff at their growth as believers? Do we do like Paul and pray for them? We, as people, love to see failure. Without video content like “Fail Army,” it wouldn’t exist. As we watch in disbelief that other pastors have fallen because of sexual sin, deep down, we get the satisfaction of the exposure of humanity’s fallen nature. How is our growth? Why didn’t we stop what we were doing and pray for that person and that situation? Life is messy. We don’t know all the details that led to that moment. What kind of trauma hasn’t been dealt with? What circumstances are they dealing with? Even though God is bigger than our circumstances, emotions, and situations we still have to deal with them. Those that are in the storm, are in the storm. Those in the fire, are in the fire. God did not let them “not” go through what they went through. They were different for it. So, where is my growth? How is my faith portrayed to others in the body? What would be said about my faith and growth? And I hope that someone will pray for me.

What is my response?

Father, give me the eyes to see people the way you see them. To see past what is happening in front of me. To know the heart of what their needs are in life and pray for them. To get past the surface and façade of what people project and to see the heart of a person. You have created us as relational beings, and we live in a fallen world. Our fallenness takes joy in others’ pain when we should be trying to help their pain. Change my perspective in the moments as they occur. Allow me to think clearly and know what to do in those moments. To see the need and fill the need. To surrender to being relational in You. To think more highly of the next person. To live more like Jesus today than yesterday. Amen.

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