Philippians: To Know Christ
By: Natalie Wiesen
October 23, 2017
“That I may know Christ and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings…” Philippians 3:10
Paul gives us a model for life as those who have found their righteousness in Christ. It starts by coming to God empty handed, in utter dependance, trusting wholly in Christ. We consider even good things rubbish in so far as it interferes with our relationship to God.
Next, we get past the business of pursuing right standing before God, because God has settled that for us in the cross of Jesus. Now, we are free to get on with the business of KNOWING God – the very thing we were made for. Now that Paul has been made a son of the most high God, he has stopped acting like a slave. He can know his Heavenly Father in actuality, and longs to do so as deeply as humanly possible. It is clear in Philippians that Paul won’t be content with mere religious externalities, but wants to know Him completely.
To that end, he doesn’t try to insulate himself from suffering, and neither should we. To Paul, life is no longer the greatest good, and death is no longer the greatest evil. He is content to weather whatever storm may come, so long as it means more of Christ. That is not to say we should seek suffering, but only that to be with Christ in suffering is better by far than to be without Christ in comfort and security.
For someone who has truly grasped the gift of God offered us in Christ, a heart that burns after God is the only logical response. Scripture is riddled with the words of people who intensely longed for God.
“Whom have I in heaven but you, this earth has nothing I desire besides you, my flesh and my heart may fail, but you are the strength of my heart and portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
Moses, who chose to be mistreated with the people of God rather than enjoy for a time the pleasures of sin (Hebrews 11:25), when he was on the mount said to God, “Unless you go before me, do not send me out…now show me your glory.” (Exodus 33:15)
To know the Creator of the Universe is the most incredible gift we could ever possess!