The Apostle Paul to the Philippians:
“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”
~Philippians 3:10 (NRSV).
This is the most urgent of sayings — the want to know Jesus inside and out — isn’t it? Paul’s intimacy with Christ seems second to none, yet we’re all called to it.
Called to What?
Like in our fellowship — that status of shared identity with Christ — discipleship is the calling card of our DNA.
Not so much are we called to “what,” but “be” in a most fervent sense close to God; to follow our Lord.
Paul must feel this innate power resonant from the Spirit and he’s hooked, though it costs him (and us) the old life of ‘self control’ (reading that not as we’d normally associate it — i.e. it means, control of self without recourse to God).
A Commitment to Attaining That Which Can Be Learned
Selflessness and love is what the Spirit of God, resident in Jesus’ resurrection power, promises.
There is power in the resurrection in that who has ever defeated death?
It’s an incomprehensible thought. We might think of loved ones who’ve passed away walking their way into our kitchens and living rooms, but our logical minds know it can’t happen.
Paul, however, is lured by the resurrection power. He knows the way there — through selflessness and love — and he’s aberrantly willing to pay that price because of this promise of resurrection for those saved from their sins.
But acquisition of such a thing as resurrection is learned as much as it’s obtained via plain belief — at least as far as living the resurrection reality is concerned.
We have to learn this power by the experience of our selflessness and love — to live the death of Jesus so others might see his life (2 Corinthians 4:10-12).
Falling in Love with Learning from Jesus
This is our act of devotion right here.
Learning’s linked with humility for good reason. There are many more reasons for pride in this selfish world, but Jesus is calling us to negate any such leverage so others might be lifted; resurrected, as it were.
What we’re saying is, we want everyone around us to experience even a taste of what it feels like to be lifted in life — from a trillion forms of death, to life in Jesus’ name.
This selflessness and love for others, performed by humility, is the final and only test of our devotion under discipleship to Jesus.
Simple, but at the same time, hard!
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.