Summary: Many people strive for prestige and prosperity, but the most important thing is a interpersonal relationship with God. That I may know should be the greatest desire of a child of God.
“That I May Know Him”
The book of Philippians has been called the “Song of Solomon” of the New Testament because of its intimacy and the passionate desire that Paul has for the church of Philippi. The manner of his writing is the same kind that distant lovers often communicate in. Though we are far apart you are right here in my heart and I just can’t wait until we are reunited and it will feel so good. Understand that Paul was in prison in Rome separated from the church of Philippi, yet his desire was to be with the church.
While Paul was in prison, the church had come under attack by false prophets that were trying to destroy the church with the corruption of sound doctrine and causing a division to come in between the people of the church. So Paul writes to the church a love letter to encourage the church to hold on to God’s unchanging hand. In the 1st chapter he exhorts them to have patience, because it is through patience that ye possess your soul and unity because nothing works without unity. The Bible says “No man is born alone and no man dies alone” in other words I need you and you need me in order to survive; therefore he encourages the church to come together and have unity, letting them know that united they stand, but divided they will fall. In chapter 2 he encourages them not to esteem themselves as individuals highly, but to become humble, for in order to be exalted you must first become humble. The Bible says “He that humbleth himself God will exalt and he that exalteth himself God will abase.” In the 3rd chapter he impresses on them not to put confidence in this flesh, but stresses the importance of an interpersonal relationship with God. In the 4th chapter he lets the church know you don’t have to worry about anything, you don’t have to be afraid of going to the Lord, but you must always be thankful, giving God thanks even in hard times, because if it were not for the storms and problems in your life how would you even know that God could solve them.
In our text Paul says “That I may know Him…”
One of the greatest desires of a child of God is their enthusiasm to truly know God. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witness…” What this is saying that there are plenty of people that have gone on into glory that had the desire to have a relationship with God. If we were to look through the pages of scripture we will see how the desire to truly know God is the nucleus of a child of God’s walk with God.
Moses said “show me your glory”
David said “my soul panteth for thee oh Lord”
The Disciples said “teach us”
Paul said “That I may know Him.”
Their determination was to have an interpersonal relationship with God.
Relationship: - is the state of affairs existing between those having dealings with each other. In its broadest terms it simply means that one object has a connection or a correlation with another object. Our world is based on relationship, mechanically if there is no relationship between the key and the ignition, the ignition and the starter, the starter and the engine, regardless of the amount of money that you paid for that automobile unless there is relationship that car is no going to run. The way the moon affects the oceans is called a cosmological relationship. There is a correlation between the two and depending on the position of the moon the oceans are affected in cosmic ways. Einstein’s theory of relativity, how one thing affects another, is based upon relationship. However this is what is known as an impersonal relationship.
Then we have what is called a personal relationship. A personal relationship must involve at least one person. It is defined as how something affects a person. Therefore you can have a personal relationship with a dog, a cat, a car, a ice-cream cone. However something affects you or whatever affects you is a personal relationship, because there is one person that is involved. However in this personal relationship there is a key ingredient missing and that is unity. No man is an island and no man stands alone.
Then we have the 3rd and most important type of relationship and that is called an interpersonal relationship. An interpersonal relationship is based upon interaction between two people. The Bible says in Matthew 18:20 “Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am I in the midst of them.” In other words two or three is the minimum requirement in order for God to be in the midst, WHY, because it enforces unity and establishes an interpersonal relationship.