Being Obsessed with Jesus is/should be my priority daily. I walk that line with everyone else that is a follower of Christ; that tension that pulls me to Him but also my sin that separates me from Him. When I read what paul is saying in the book of Philippians I get stirred up! I feel like there is actually people who have done this stuff well other than Jesus and Paul! There was a church that was thriving and got the message of Christ. They understood what life was about, and knew that Jesus was the answer.
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
(Philippians 3:1-11 ESV)
I think I have a love hate relationship with Paul’s writings. I love them but also hate it at the same time because he seems to go after the heart of man rather than the external. Paul’s discernment was incredible. He would know the heart of the people in every church he planted. He was praying for them, pleading with God to bless them. then saying to them that everything that they could possible do to be righteous he has done better, he has done more! The cherry on the cake is then he says it is all Rubbish if he doesn’t get Christ.
Living a life after Jesus is hard. It requires sacrifice it requires you to die to yourself just like Christ died on the cross for us. Most people think that just being in a christian community and focusing on the Joy of the Lord and how He is blessing them and what he is doing in their life and their friends is enough. Now, it might be. But I also see that Paul’s sacrifice for the people that he raised up is to me like Jesus’ sacrifice for us. It goes beyond external, it goes beyond how we feel, and it goes beyond us.
There is a feeling of urgency when you read what Jesus says and what Paul writes.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
(Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
There are going to be people who do those things; great things in the eyes of man, but when jesus looks at them, he is going to say, I never knew you. That is my fear. That is my tension. How do i live a life after Christ, seeking his kingdom, living a lifestyle that reflects Him and still know Him.
Paul’s response to Matthew 7:21-23 is it’s all rubbish. those acts are great to everyone who sees them but to the God who is the creator, to Jesus who in the Garden when he was getting arrested said to Simon Peter, that he could have 12 legions of angels to fight for Him, and then he sticks this roman soldiers ear back on him and willing goes with them, knowing he gets to sacrifice for me and you, for eternity. That is something special, that is something that goes to the heart of man. that is something that will change a nation.
But the question is this, Will we sacrifice ourselves?