Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from Scripture
Philippians 3:8 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
Here is a subtle but extremely powerful and important principle. I think it was A. W. Tozer who phrased the idea in the words: We may not each be as holy as we'd like to be, but we are each as holy as we are willing to be. Or, we could express it yet another way - with the question often posed in marriage vows: And forsaking all others, keep yourself wholly unto him (or her)? It is the lost element of Biblical Christianity. Simply, if I would have God, I must forsake who or whatever it is I currently turn to for love, acceptance, happiness, peace and security - and find it only in Him. Paul did not say - Having gained Christ I now suffer the loss of all things and count them as rubbish - that's backwards. No, he said he HAD ALREADY suffered the loss of them, had already counted them as dung, IN ORDER THAT he might gain Christ. We have to stop dating Jesus. If we want His fullness, the intimacy with Him we crave, we have to make the commitment to forsake every other person, place and thing we currently look to for that fulfillment. THEN, we can have Him that way. My wife required me to stop dating other women if I wanted to enter into marriage and the intimacies which belong to that union. So with Him. Perhaps, our experience of God is shallow and unsatisfying because we're only willing to let go the other things WHEN He at last satisfies us. But that eliminates the need for - the risk of... faith. Perhaps the words of Martha Snell Nicholson in a poem which became a popular Christian song about 30 years ago can rephrase it yet again to get the point across. Pay special attention to the last stanza. One by one He took them from me, All the things I valued most, Until I was empty-handed; Every glittering toy was lost. And I walked earth's highways, grieving. In my rags and poverty. Till I heard His voice inviting, "Lift your empty hands to Me!" So I held my hands toward heaven, And He filled them with a store Of His own transcendent riches, Till they could contain no more. And at last I comprehended With my stupid mind and dull, That God COULD not pour His riches Into hands already full!