That I May Know Him
By: Greg Mohr
But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.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 Christand 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; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.Philippians 3:7–10, New King James Version
Paul was in jail at the time he penned this letter to the Philippians. If I were in his place, I think I would have placed more emphasis on getting out of jail. I would have asked them to pray for my freedom and use any leverage they had politically to arrange my release. That was not Paul’s primary focus. Rather, he said in Philippians 1:12, “But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (NKJV).
What a great attitude! He is in jail and finding the good that is coming from his time there. Wow! We can truly learn something about making the best of a bad situation from Paul here. He wrote a number of his epistles from a Roman jail. God used what the enemy meant for evil to work out for good in his life.
What we learn from Paul’s example is our attitude and response to difficulty and trials will make a huge difference in the furtherance of the gospel through our lives. Paul was not self-focused. He was God focused. This letter was written in the latter years of his life, just five or six years before his death. The passage above contains his primary passion: “that I may know Him.”
He could have focused on the number of people being saved, how many churches he planted, how many disciples he made, or any other things that measured ministry success. Yet one thing remained preeminent in his mind and heart: knowing God. I have discovered over the years in my walk with God and dealing with people that this is the central issue in all of our lives.
When people allow their focus to get off-center from their relationship with Christ, life doesn’t work like it should.
Problems mount up and answers don’t come easily. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to “fix” our problems and straighten situations out. We pray for wisdom and ask others to agree with us in prayer for our circumstance to work out.
But the reality is many times the root problem is not our problem. The answer to so many unresolved issues in our lives is to recenter and refocus on Jesus. Make Him the center of our time and attention. Place Him first in our lives where He belongs. Make knowing Him central, and you will experience Him adding all things to you and working out what you could not do on your own!