What are we willing to give up in order to know the Savior better? Am I willing to give up my favorite TV show to go to church on Sunday evening? Am I willing to put aside my own pride to approach someone about the Gospel? Am I willing to admit my own sinfulness in order to achieve a true humble spirit? Am I willing to empty myself of all that I think is good in me in order to have the Holy Spirit fill up all that has been emptied?
Paul wrote about this when he said, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: For Whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him, the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:8-10).
As I look at the life of Paul, there are two enemies that he battled that I think we all battle still today. The first he goes into great detail here about. He had some significant religious accomplishments he had to put behind him. He was considered a very important person in the Jewish faith. He was “moving up the ladder” toward success in his life as a religious leader. He was becoming known among all the “important” people. We too have built our own little empires at times of our accomplishments. If we are not careful, these very past accomplishments could be holding us back from reaching our fullest potential.
When I was a boy, I remember finding a very large trophy in our basement on a rainy summer day. The trophy had a football player kicking a football (that had a sock over top of it), and the nameplate on the front said, “Athlete of the year – Pat Bracelin.” I quickly ran up the steps to ask my mom about it. She told me it was true … my father had been named the athlete of the year in his senior year of High School. I questioned my dad about it, and his reply was, “That was a long time ago.” He had the right attitude about it (the sock remained …). Paul had to get over his past successes to know Christ.
The second thing Paul had to get over was his sinful past. He had been responsible for the death of a number of believers. I am sure that these thoughts haunted him at times. If we are going to “know Christ,” we will need to let go of our past successes and failures. Get to know Him today!