Philippians 3:7-11 – “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” NKJV
There is enough here to preach for months and write an entire book, but one particular phrase leaps off the page for me. The beginning words of v.10 scream for my attention, “…that I may know Him….” Of course, there is more, but where better to begin, for without this reality, none of the other has meaning.
That I may know Him is the cry of my heart, and there is an ever-growing hunger in my heart and spirit to KNOW Him. I do not mean know about Him but to KNOW Him. I have experienced the new birth, but I am talking about something beyond that entrance into the Family of God; I am speaking of the intimacy found in the biblical word KNOW. In Genesis 4:1 we read, “…Adam knew Eve…” The full meaning of the word KNEW is revealed in the following words, “and she conceived….” He KNEW her in an intimacy that transcends knowing about but in becoming one in flesh and spirit.
I want to KNOW Christ in an intimacy where we are so completely one that there is no distinction between Him and me. I want to KNOW Him so intimately that His thoughts become my thoughts, and the mind in Him becomes my mind. In the natural world, it is impossible to KNOW someone on that level without spending time with them and investing yourself in them and in the pursuit of KNOWING them.
The critical question is, how can we KNOW Christ on that level? We know Him through the Holy Spirit. We know Him through prayer. We know Him through His word. We know Him through obedience. We know Him through service. We know Him through His suffering. We know Him through His resurrection power. We know Him by being transformed and having done all to stand, stand and follow the prescription Jesus gave in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness….” We know Him by making Matthew 5:6 our life pursuit, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
If we want something badly enough, we will make the time to pursue it, invest whatever it takes to achieve it, and devote our energy to realize it. In relationships where love is deep and true, it is a small thing to invest energy in learning the object of our devotion and affection. In our spiritual relationship, too often, we seem to want to KNOW Jesus, as this passage describes, without investing or divesting ourselves as required. He must become LORD of All if He is to be LORD at all.
Those who have trained in martial arts tell me that it requires and requires a total commitment to master the discipline and techniques to become proficient in their art. Those who are successful in business tell me that it requires a singular devotion and commitment to the pursuit of that business to succeed. Those who have successful marriages and relations declare that they have invested themselves in the quest to know their mates. Although it was an easy decision, it is a continual process and requires total commitment. Knowing does not just happen; there is no shortcut to coming to KNOW.
If you are hungry to KNOW Him, you can KNOW Him on that level of intimacy, but it will not be easy, nor will it be without pain. No one in their right mind would desire to suffer, but in KNOWING Him fully, we must KNOW His suffering, for it reveals His heart. His suffering pulls back the veil of the WHY of the Cross and the Power of the Resurrection. May a craving and commitment to KNOW HIM to be birthed in each of our hearts.
God bless you richly as you embark on today’s journey.