After talking about acceptable ambition in vv.15-18, Paul now expands and talks about his ultimate ambition and how the Philippians can help.
He writes that his ultimate ambition, his eager expectation and hope is that Christ will be honoured in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. No matter whether in the land of the living, or living in the presence of His Saviour, Paul’s ultimate ambition is to honour Christ.
He appears to have accepted his possible martyrdom (vv.20-21), and is sure that the Sovereign Lord of all will make the right decision concerning his life (v.19).
How the Philippians can help – and the point to put into action for you and for me – is also found in v.19,
…I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance…
Paul knows he will be delivered through (not from) his current circumstances by the help of the spirit of Jesus Christ, which is hastened and hailed by the prayers of the Philippians.
How powerful is prayer? Paul knows that through the Philippians praying for him, and the power of the spirit of Jesus that is brought forth, he will be delivered.
“Paul’s needs were met by the Spirit of God,
but this provision to Paul was brought about by the prayers of the Philippians.”
– David Guzik
If Paul was so certain that this would turn out for [his] deliverance, shouldn’t this motivate us to pray for one another with all the more earnestness? This being said, who can you pray for today? Who can you pray for to receive the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ?