"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit."
“The One God Exalts”
Philippians 2 is mean. I don't know how else to sum it up except that it's mean. This is what I mean: Philippians 2 goes after the heart. There are parts of Philippians 1 that sort of lean on your heart and might even tug at your heart but, but Philippians 2 violently goes after the heart of your faith. In the way of the Spirit, the passages here assault our pride and bind up our wounds with grace.
Somewhat belied by the hymn of humility Paul shares with us in the opening lines of this chapter is the desire to create passionate worshippers of the God who is a consuming fire. The central idea of Philippians 2 is so abundant in the Scriptures that if you were to wring out the Bible, this is what you'd end up with: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 9:10).
The kind of fear that the early Philippians converts knew was the biblical "fear of God." This is the kind of fear that typifies the work of sanctification (Philippians 2:12). It is the reverent, humble, awed kind of fear. Don't you think the slave girl and the jailer especially knew this kind of fear? Their conversion experiences presented stark evidence of God's power over the forces of nature and the satanic realm. Paul's own conversion experience was one of vivid Christological manifestation; surely his extraordinary conversion translated to his extraordinary ministry.
It is the kind of worshipful, put-in-our-place, awed fear that colors Paul's words in Philippians 2.
When we truly have a fear of the LORD, it is nearly impossible to be selfish or conceited. Spend some time praying. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a fear of the LORD.
*These devos are taken from Matt Chandler's book, To Live is Christ To Die is Gain.