“I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the message has actually prospered.” – Philippians 1 :12, TM
When I read those words, “My imprisonment has had the opposite of its intended effect,” It makes me want to shout! And that’s not all, listen: “Not only that but most of the Christians here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God” (Philippians 1: 14, TM). The devil’s plan backfired. He thought that by locking Paul up, he could shut him up; but, instead, he started writing books that would change the world. He thought imprisoning him would intimidate all the other Christians in town; but, instead, it ignited them.
And to make matters worse, they changed his guard every few hours and chained him to another two Roman soldiers. That’s what’s called a captive audience. Every few hours, two new converts would leave, and two new prospects would arrive, until there were “saints in the household of Caesar” (Philippians 4 :22). Finally, they decided that the only thing to do was to kill Paul. Kill what? They could destroy the shell, but they couldn’t lay a finger on the treasure. Listen again: “They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit. Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m His bounty. Life versus even more life. I can’t lose” (Philippians 1 :23, TM).
Rejoice, child of God, we’re on the winning side today. We just can’t lose!