Philippians 3 : 7 - 11, 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 Christ and 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, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. NKJV
I thank God for the ministry and the testimony of Paul (Saul). We get our first glimpse of Saul in the Bible when Stephen was being stoned. Saul held the coats of those who carried out the stoning of Stephen, and he consented to his death. However, later, in the book of Acts, Saul has an encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. After this visitation from the Lord, Saul was struck with blindness and had to be led around by others for three days. God was teaching Saul how to walk by faith and not by sight. This encounter with the Lord was the beginning of Saul’s conversion.
Even though Paul suffered many horrific afflictions as a follower of Jesus, he was passionate about his pursuit of Him. What would cause a man who was caught up in the works of the law and the accolades of man to suddenly be willing to both suffer for Christ and to lose everything that he worked so diligently to gain? I submit to you that Paul had an experience with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that transformed his heart.
As a result of Paul’s encounters with the living God and of his seeing the glory of God, Paul viewed his own works as filth. It wasn’t that had God made Paul feel condemned for the things he had accomplished through the power of his flesh; rather, Paul was humbled that God would love him enough to show him the splendor of heaven, despite how he had conducted himself when he was still called Saul.
God’s goodness transformed Paul’s life and set him on a hot-pursuit for Jesus that wouldn’t be satisfied by anyone or anything else. Consequently, God allowed Paul to see and experience things in the spirit realm that were unlawful for him to share with us in scripture. As a result of these encounters with God, Paul developed a hunger for the things of God and lost his desire for the power and prestige associated with man’s religion. Paul was captivated by the love and the grace of God; and, therefore, gladly accepted the loss of the things he once esteemed and placed value on.
I pray that God will also visit us and allow our generation to experience the greatness of His love and glory to the point that the things of this world will lose their hold on us. Nevertheless, we can draw God to ourselves by developing a deep hunger for His presence. Jesus told us in Matthew 5 that we are blessed if we hunger and thirst for righteousness, for we shall be filled.
If you are experiencing a dry place in your relationship with the Lord, then begin a passionate pursuit of Him that will cause you to sense the infilling of God’s presence in your heart. If you already seek the Lord, but you desire more of Him and His presence, then begin to empty yourself in your prayer time; ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart with more of God. God is passionately pursuing us; now we need to be in passionate pursuit of Him. God has promised that those who diligently seek Him will be rewarded. Let’s lose our passion for this world’s temporal pleasures and fix our hearts on eternal treasures from heaven. There is nothing on earth that can satisfy our longing like having an intimate relationship with Jesus. I encourage you to keep pressing on in Christ.
Going After God with My Whole Heart,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery