(WARNING: I was very very convicted by this and will readily acknowledge I have so very far to go to even come close to this)
Paul wrote in Phil 3 “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings.” We even sing the song “knowing You Jesus there is no greater thing!” Do we, do I really mean that?
Knowing Christ, a true deep and intimate knowledge of Jesus our Messiah and Lord is not for the faint or light-hearted. It is not for those easily dismayed or discouraged. It requires discipline, perseverance, setting aside of one’s own will and taking on the Lord’s. Knowing Christ takes all you are, your heart, your mind, your soul, your strength, your energy, your passions, your emotions. You must hunger and thirst to know Christ. You must be willing to weep over your desire and let nothing stop you. Not this world, not food, not sleep, not material possessions, not friends, not family… nothing must come between you and Christ.
Knowing Christ is for those who are willing, should God require, to spend sleep-ness nights in prayer sometimes with others and sometimes alone. It can require days of fasting. Be it food or drink, movies or entertainment, music or books… It requires time on your knees and sometimes on your face. Knowing Christ will bring tears and broken hearts, a hatred of sin and a passion for holiness, forgiveness to the extreme and dirty hands. Knowing Christ means knowing the power of the resurrection and the sharing of sufferings.
Knowing Christ will mean more than just coming and being a part of the Church as she gathers together on a Sunday morning. It will mean giving up your old identity and being made new. It will mean being a living sacrifice and realizing that you have been crucified with Christ. Knowing Christ will enable you to truly understand and say with Paul – for me to live is Christ and to die is gain.
If you are in Christ, if you have a relationship with the Lord of the Universe than this is for you. You have been called to know Christ in this way and you are able. Paul said to know Christ and the POWER of His resurrection (look at that next week). There are no excuses or reasons as to why you cannot. It doesn’t matter what your past is or what you think your future looks like, you are able to know Christ intimately but you must make the choice. You must be deliberate and understand there’s a cost! Your wildest dreams could not up with the greatness of knowing Christ.
Believe me – you will say for all eternity – knowing Christ there is no greater thing!! But it is hard! Are we willing to know Christ in this way… no matter what…