“That I may know Him.” (Philippians 3:10)
I pray that one day I may have a faith in Christ like Paul did. His writings provide so much encouragement, so much inspiration to be what God has called me to be. He preached a message of surrender and sacrifice while also emphasizing a furious fight for what is good. Surrendering and fighting sound counter-intuitive, but Paul taught both. He preached the message of Christ and knowing Him. We must surrender to Christ to be able to access the full power of His grace in order to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). It is an active surrender into the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ that enables us to act according to His will.
It may sound spiritual and lofty that surrendering enables you to fight more furiously, but it can make sense in the practical everyday life. When a person surrenders to someone or a cause, they are not cowering back in fear, but engaging people with a humility found in love. When you are willing to surrender what you want to do for what you need to do, then you become dangerously close to accomplishing whatever mission you are on. Do what you need to do to get to where you want to go. Not out of obligation, but because you understand the bigger picture. Base every decision on a life philosophy. Every decision you make matters. The seemingly insignificant decisions become significantly powerful when repeated consistently over time. Surrender whatever you have to in order to know Christ as completely and clearly as you can.
Five words from Philippians provide so much insight into the purpose for life, “That I may know Him.” Oswald Chambers said it well, “I am not here for self-realization, but to know Jesus Christ.” Self-realization is not the goal, nor the path to self-improvement. Tim Keller offered valuable insight when he said, “The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” We see ourselves most clearly at the feet of Jesus.
Find yourself at the foot of the cross. This is why James can say with confidence, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4). Feeling satisfied and being fulfilled are not evil desires. A desire to be happy and loved might be a powerful motivator, but it must not be the end goal. Satan uses this desire to drive us into sinful actions that will result in temporary happiness that fades away. The goal must be to know Christ better, and the effect will be a more full life. Focus on Christ, and you will be ultimately joyful. It would be rather difficult to diligently read, study, and meditate on Jesus’ actions and principles and live an unfulfilled, joyless, hopeless, and loveless life. Jesus loved everyone unconditionally, He gave people hope for a future, and He was full of joy in all circumstances. Pursue Jesus Christ and don’t look back.