June 14, 2012
- By Ed Powell
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"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection." Philippians 3:10
What did Paul mean when he wrote these words, which were the desire of his heart and the core of his life? His whole life had been transformed by the power of God. From being at the pinnacle of man's admiration and acclaim, he became a lowly servant and follower of Christ. From being the "persecutor of the Christians" to being a disciple of the Lord...the channel through which the Holy Spirit established churches throughout Asia Minor...the one who wrote many epistles to the churches, so mighty in word and truth. Nothing short of God's hand of grace could effect such a radical change in a man's life. Someone might say, "Wow, he had it all going his way." No, it was quite the contrary. He went through the "fires of hell" at the hands of sinful men, as he bore faithful witness and ministered the saving grace of the gospel. It was in these times that his intimacy with Christ was born.
Why did Paul subject his life to such persecution, turmoil, suffering, and strife when he could have had a life of ease and enjoyment? Because God revealed to him, as possibly to no other man, the magnitude of His grace, mercy, and love. These were the constraining forces of his life. He considered the accolades of man, but refused them, because they could not compare with the "excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord." His life is now consumed with but one goal..."That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, to be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith."
He alone knows Christ fully who knows Him experientially, by blessed companionship with Him in his daily walk. The "peace that passes understanding" is the blessed result of those who, in utter abandon, seek to "know Him." When forsaken, and loneliness consumes you like a flood, how blessed it is to "know Him" as a friend that sticks closer than a brother. When you've lost your job and your resources are all but gone, how blessed it is to "know Him" as your all-sufficient Savior. When wracked with pain and suffering in body, to "know Him" saying to you "I am the Lord that heals you." Perplexed on every hand, confused and weary, to "know Him" saying to you, "This is the way; walk ye in it." TO KNOW HIM is to "walk with Him" through the shadows of night, through stormy encounters, through the "valley of the shadow of death."
It is "in" these experiences that we learn to lean on Him, to take Him at His word, and to apply His Word to our lives. We DARE TO BELIEVE He is able; we dare to launch out into uncharted waters, holding only to Him, appropriating His provisions for us. This is how we get to KNOW HIM in a blessed, intimate relationship, and NO OTHER WAY. It is then you will hear Him say, "Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I HAVE CALLED YOU BY YOUR NAME, AND YOU ARE MINE. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you; when you pass through the fire, you shall not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle you, FOR I AM YOUR GOD, THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL, YOUR SAVIOR!" Do you know Him in this blessed way?
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=166&date=2012-06-14
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