Scripture Reading: Philippians 3;12-16
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” (Philippians 3:12)
Paul had a strong desire to know Christ. He wanted to be in constant fellowship with Him. His desire was to know Christ intimately and fully — “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in death” (v. 10). But Paul knew that he had not fully achieved these things. He knew that we was not mature in his faith.
Recognize who is saying this — the Apostle Paul! Surely he was a man of great faith. He certainly knew Christ, but he was not satisfied with where he was spiritually. He wanted to know Christ better and he wanted his life to be shaped more and more into the image of his Savior.
Once Paul acknowledged that he had not arrived at the place he wanted to be spiritually, he pressed on in his spiritual growth. He knew that Jesus had taken hold of him, but Paul wanted to take hold of Christ. This reminds me of the Old Testament account of Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32:22-32). Jacob wanted to take hold of God; he did not want to let go of Him until God blessed him. Paul wanted to take hold of Christ in order to know Him better. He wanted to know the power of Christ’s resurrection and to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. He wanted to know all he possibly could about Jesus.
I question that I have the same zeal that Paul did about his spiritual growth and maturity. I know that I am not as close to Christ as I want to be. I don’t know Him as I should. It would be foolish to deny that we all want to know Christ better. Christ has taken hold of us; but have taken hold of Him? Do I have the zeal to press on toward spiritual maturity? I may fail Jesus many times, but He has hold of me and He will not let go. Knowing this makes me want to press on to know Him better and better.
Lord Jesus, I know that You have taken hold of me. You will not let me go. Enable me to press on to take hold of You. Enable me to grow in my faith. Give me the desire to know you better and better, and to be like You.
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