But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, 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 is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. ~Philippians 3:7-9
I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. My alarm went off early, and the day seemed to be starting off well. However, then I turned it off and woke up a good hour after my day was supposed to begin.
I felt irritable and it bothered me. I am not typically one to be grumpy in the mornings, and I usually look forward to whatever the day has to offer. But today, everything seemed like it was gearing up to be particularly ugly.
I decided to continue my morning routine in a quicker manner than usual, ate breakfast, worked on homework and trudged to chapel. When I walked up the stairs, I was feeling frustrated and confused about why I was even feeling that way.
The music started and I couldn’t even sing by the end, I knew I was so off in my spirit. And then the sermon rolled in. The speaker today talked about being able to hear the voice of God.
Funny, I thought to myself. This speaker is talking about the exact topic of my current Bible study. Right now, I am working through the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby. The tagline for the study is “Knowing and Doing the Will of God.” Basically, the study challenges its reader to learn how to hear God speak, and do what He says, the exact topic of today’s sermon.
Feeling convicted, I listened a little harder to what he had to say. And I started to ask myself…why am I so irritated? What in the world could possibly be bothering me?
And what came to my mind was a whole list of petty problems that were all rooted in a deep sense of security in the things of this world. When I worry, scheme, and plan my life around the things of this world, I am always frustrated. But they sneak in so quietly and subtly that I often do not realize they are there.
In doing this study, I am realizing that getting closer to God, hearing His voice, and knowing and doing His will, is going to require some sacrifice. It’s going to require me to sever my ties with this world. And if I am completely honest with you, I’m uncomfortable.
I’m uncomfortable because for too long I have found comfort in the things of the world that will never satisfy. I have looked for meaning in my work, my activities, my relationships, money, my family–anywhere but the One Who has blessed me with these.
Drawing closer to Him, means letting my deeply-rooted ties to this world go. And there are some deep roots. It is uncomfortable to think of what I will have to “lose” to draw closer to God.
The passage at the top from Philippians lays it out clearly for me. “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things…”
As I sat in that chapel and continued on through my day, I have been asking myself “Do I really consider everything a loss compared to knowing Christ? Everything this world has to offer me?
I’m discovering some deep ties to areas in my life that were never guaranteed to last, and certainly should not cause me to be upset at the slightest threat that they may be taken away.
And as I am growing closer to God, I am realizing that the life He offers me is so much fuller, sweeter, and simpler than what I can do on my own.
It’s uncomfortable. But so incredibly worth it.