“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10–11, NIV84)
This is the cry of my heart and I pray it is the cry of your heart as well. One of the things I have realized about myself though is I tend /like to “skip” things. For instance, I want to go straight to the “power of His resurrection” skipping over the getting “to know him part” and most definitely the “sharing in His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death part”. The truth is I cannot have one without the other. There is no “pickin an’ choosin’”. It is all or nothing.
As I think about this, why would I want to pass up the “getting to know Him part”? One of the awesome things about people is “getting to them”. I have discovered that all too often, I had made judgements about them that prove to be totally unfounded and yet had controlled my relationship to and with them. I have also discovered, people do not always want to be “known”. None of this is true with Jesus though!”
He wants to be “known”! He encourages, seduces, invites, and longs for me to “get to know Him”. In fact, He moved heaven and earth to make it possible, so why would I not avail myself of such a glorious invitation by the One who is “the resurrection and the life”? As I experience the joy and adventure of knowing Him, the other things follow. I also experience the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of sharing His sufferings and becoming like Him in death.
Prayer Ministry has helped me to do this because I have had some pretty bound up ideas about whom Jesus is and what He expects of me, not to mention how I have thought about others, as well as myself. Freedom allows me to choose to lay down my preconceived ideas.notions of what being “Christ-like” is all about and discover the immensity of God, rather than being focused on the minuteness of what is wrong with you – and me. My focus tended to be like looking at a picture or event through a very powerful magnifying glass, identifying all the things wrong with the picture. Getting to know Him is not like that at all, it is like seeing things through the 3-D glasses of Jesus on the most gigantic IMAX screen ever created, while at the same time being part of all this going on because He is participating in it and making it all happen. He really is the “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords”, thus everything is going His way, because He is God, the One and Only God! It means as He lets me know what He knows, we become involved in praying, working, and changing the way the “world, the flesh, and the devil” want things to turn out, which draws us into participating in the power of His resurrection as well as the fellowship of His sufferings and becoming like Him in His death. This is not a process of figuring things out. It is walking and talking with Him as I move in and through the day’s activities. Plans are not my responsibility; being with Him is always going to be an adventure for me because He is in charge. He is the Lord of mysteries and He invites me to explore those mysteries with Him. Nothing could be more exciting or more out of my control. Talk about a thrill, doing His will, that really fills Bill. I trust Jesus is also doing that for you with a little help of the VMTC “Circle of God’s Love”.
Love and blessings,