For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.
We serve a God that created us with a purpose! I love the verse above because it clearly shows us that the God we serve is a relational God. He created us to be in His presence. We are created through Him and for Him. I will be the first to admit that there have been several times that I have failed Him when it comes to being intentional in my relationship with Him. From the beginning of time, God intended on having fellowship with His own creation, and He continues to desire that with us.
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
In the verses above, we see Paul recognizing that a great shift took place in his life. He no longer was “righteous” because he followed the Law, but was righteous because of His faith in Christ Jesus. Paul recognized the power of this and wanted to pursue Christ even more. Paul realized that his experience with Christ was not based on just one powerful encounter with Him, but was based on an ongoing relationship with Him. Paul’s desire was to know Him and to walk with Him in truth and obedience. Julie’s post from yesterday, reminds us that we have to actively obey God’s Word in order to grow as mature believers. Paul recognized this and desired to know Christ on a personal level. There have been many times in my life when my relationship with God was a one-way street. I would read the Bible and study His word, but would never really intentionally pursue a relationship with Him. I knew a lot about God, but did not really know Him. I went on for years, neglecting my relationship with Christ. I knew that He was always there and that I could go to Him when I needed something, but outside of that, my communication with God was limited. I knew how to live a good life, and how to do what was right in His eyes, but in all of that I neglected the most important thing: having a real/intimate friendship with my God.
In order for believers to be effective representatives of Christ on this earth, we must know Him and know His heart. Last week I wrote about zeal – something we should all have as believers. However, if we have zeal and don’t have a personal, deep understanding of God, then that zeal is ineffective. Christ calls us to abide in Him as He abides in us, and this can only be done when we are in His presence. Friends, today I encourage you to redirect your focus and seek to be intimate with Christ. Paul recognized that his relationship with Christ was progressive and continual, and every day he desired more of it.