Summary: So many times we become "spiritually fatigued". We see what is going on in the world around us and sometimes wonder if we can continue. We wonder if there is something wrong with us. What can help us to get out of this funk?
(Phil. 3 and Col 1:27))
“I know where I’ve been, and I know what Christ has done for me, but I HAVEN’T ARRIVED YET.” Did you ever sit and think about that? The Apostle Paul was doing the same thing.
Paul considers what he WAS and what he has BECOME in Philippians 3. In verse 7 he says: “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 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.”
Later in verses 12-14, He says: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I PRESS ON to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I PRESS ON toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
This past year, conditions in the world and in our own country, have caused much desperation, even among Christians: I know because I have spoken with many of them and I times, I HAVE BEEN one of them. What is happening when Christians worry about the economy or about world situations and crises? They are putting their “confidence in the flesh.” They are putting their confidence in the seen evil and not the unseen Sovereign LORD.
People of God, our Lord IS the Sovereign One. Jesus is on THE THRONE of the universe, and He is still working in this World. “Do not fear. I have overcome the World.” God is asking you to commit yourself wholeheartedly to Him. To TRUST HIM. To focus on our GREAT AND SOVEREIGN God and to allow Jesus to reign in your life the same way that HE REIGNS every day in the universe: SOVEREIGNLY, ENTIRELY, SUFFICENTLY, SUPREMELY.
Our God is and has been EXTREMELY patient with me, far, far more patiently than I deserve, because I DESERVE NOTHING. This God continues to be EXTREMELY patient with the unbelieving world. He is not only SOVEREIGN but He is still exercising His power as SAVING LORD. The Lord Jesus is STILL redeeming putrid sinners.
He still breaks down the walls of pride, which are really self- autonomy. He still changes hearts that are stone cold toward Him and makes them beat to the rhythm of His ETERNAL life-giving Spirit, and when He arrives on the throne of your heart, you know that HEAVEN has come to live there! And the devil wants to TRY and dethrone Jesus, but Jesus will not allow Him access. Jesus reminds HIM of the CROSS, and of the EMPTY TOMB. We need to remind ourselves of the same.
I have been a Christian for many years, and I have to confess, that I am just beginning to understand the immensity of God’s grace and power in the LORD Jesus Christ. There is NO GOOD THING in ME. There is NO GOOD THING that can be seen in the World, and YET, God in His Infinite Love and Mercy is STILL at work here. God is still at work in ME, and that is because HE IS STILL THE SANCTIFYING LORD. “The Lord Jesus is still turning sinners into saints.” He is still at work IN ME, turning me into one of His Holy Ones.
That’s why Paul said in verses 12: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
The Lord Jesus took hold of me in, not only to give me heaven, but to MAKE ME HOLY, not to make me happy. I AM HAPPY (I’m tremendously BLEST) when I am listening to Him, when I am obedient, when I am submissive to Him, when I am pressing on IN THE SPIRIT, when I am trying to wrap my hands and heart around HIS HOLINESS, when I am LIVING in Holiness.
But then, I sometimes…I LET GO. BUT HE DOESN’T! HE NEVER lets go. He is always holding me WITH His Powerful and Holy arms.
I want to ask God that He would, in this year, bring you to the greatest realization that could happen in any life: That Christ would reign supremely and sovereignly in our hearts in the same way that He reigns over the universe. I believe that His Word teaches that that is the way that Christ wants to rule in our hearts.