In Philippians 3:5-10, Paul gives expression to the fact that there is much that can be apprehended and experienced beyond that which he had previously known.
“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death…not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:10, 12
He has come to know that the Lord can be personally, intimately known. The Jews of his day did not have this concept, as they saw only the structured religious system which they sought to protect.
Paul said, “That I might know Him.” This is a “knowing” that transcends all religious doctrine and activities and finds its fulfillment in deep personal communion with the Lord. It includes not only information about Jesus, but an ongoing involvement with Him, as He leads and directs. We must first come to Jesus, before we can be sent.
“Come, My beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appears, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give you My love.” Song of Solomon 7:11-12
THE POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION
“The power of His resurrection” can only be experienced after we have surrendered the totality of our being to the Lord, and died to our self-life and ways. Only then can we identify ourselves with Jesus in the “power of His resurrection.”
This will lead us toward a place of identification with Jesus that few experience – “The fellowship of His sufferings.” Examples of this are the sufferings of the Lord over lost humanity, and the dullness of our spiritual hearing. He desires our fellowship and longs that we come to Him. He has a PURPOSE for each of our lives.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
UNDERSTANDING HIS CALLING ON OUR LIFE
We may not understand how the Lord becomes personally interested in us – as though we were the only person in the universe, and how He has a special PURPOSE and CALLING for each of us. It is not necessary that we understand these things, but it is vitally important that we respond to Him as He seeks to become personally involved in our lives.
When we are too dull of hearing to respond, and as a result, come short of all He intends, He suffers; for as a loving Father He longs for us to come into the best, just as we desire the best for our children.
When Paul became aware of the possibility of entering into an active relationship with the Lord in communion and fellowship, he counted all else as refuse and began to seek that for which he had been “apprehended” by the Lord. The desire for spiritual reality became the priority of his life.
“If by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.” Philippians 3:11
Paul was not expressing a concern about losing his salvation. Rather, there is a much deeper meaning that speaks of an “OUT-RESURRECTION ” from the natural course of our life experience, into the realm where the Lord uniquely puts His hand upon us and lifts us into HIS PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE through a cooperative relationship with Him.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
There is another way to say this. “Many are called, but few will pay the price in order to be chosen.” But if we are to come into that which He has reserved for us, we must submit to His dealings, and come His way.
We may say, “This is not fair, others are being blessed and are prospering.” In our natural, self-centered life experience, this may be true. But once we have submitted all to Jesus, and made Him our personal Lord, we have no rights. There is an “out-resurrection” from all we had known into that which He has prepared for us (OUR DESTINY). Unless we first go down in death, there will be no rising. The extent to which we are willing to go down, will determine the distance we will be brought up.
It is so important that we allow the Lord to do all that He desires in the establishing of the foundation ( Matthew 7:24-27) of our spiritual experience. We must allow the Lord to bring us through even difficult things that neither we, nor others, seemingly understand.
But the Lord understands, and we must trust Him in all things, knowing that He knows what He is doing.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28