“Not that I have already obtained this or am
already perfect, but I press on to make it my own,
because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
(Philippians 3:12 ESV).
Related: Apprehending God: Part 1
The Apostle, Paul has just spoken about his future death and resurrection. Someday, he will be made perfect and complete in the presence of his Lord. (Philippians 3:10-11). He begins a section in verse 12, starting with an important qualifying statement. He does not want his readers to think he saw himself as perfect and sinless, but he makes it clear that his life is a work in progress (See Romans 7).
As such, the Christian Pilgrim must maintain this kind of disposition that Apostle Paul exemplifies. The Apostle was, once upon a time, apprehended by Christ, when he met him on his way to Damascus, stopped him on his journey, laid him prostrate on the ground, and laid hold on him as his own, challenged and claimed his interest in him, ( Acts 9:3-6; 26:13-18 ). And now, the time is ripe for Paul to lay hold of that which has laid hold on Him. A Christ-like life is not a moment to achieve, but a goal to pursue.
The knowledge of God is precious and is received by faith. We must, as a matter of reality, make it the index of all other knowledge, and if present phenomena are not compatible with what we already know, and have tested, as being the knowledge of God as God, then we need to hold at arm’s length that which purports to be from God, even if it is a ‘blessing’ to others. We need to guard against ‘strange fires’, the philosophies of men, and the lofty knowledge that raises itself above and against the knowledge and apprehension of God.
If we ever find ourselves before God, in desperate need of Him. We must make sure our hearts and our crowns are cast before Him, and turn over our most sophisticated toys in surrender and rededication; reassure Him of His Lordship, and our positions of being children in desperate need of His benevolence. We must allow His grace amplify the silent echoes within us- the longings buried deep down in our souls for Him- and make us desperate seekers of the knowledge of our God. May our souls hear the voice of her Beloved, at dawn and dusk, calling her, in gentle whispers, to cleave herself to Him.
We must stay with Him long enough, like an acquaintance, if we ever desire to know Him. God does not reveal Himself to a man who just drops in for a chat; He reveals Himself to a heart who seeks and follows hard after Him, a heart that has found the apprehension of God more precious than any other thing. A heart that though filled, momentarily, is never satisfied. One that has broken the boundaries of religion and normality; has crossed the barriers of doctrines and dogmas, and with utmost importunity, taken ahold of God in complete abandonment.
A soul in desperate need of God, that has broken the chains of sleep, food and bodily comforts, and wants to apprehend his soul’s greatest desire; must not be weary, but must learn to wait on Him; for He, our hearts’ truest love, is closer than we know, and soon; He’ll climb our hearts and rid them of vain loves.
God offers life; He allows us to know Him; to be changed into His likeness. This life He offers is not an improved old life; it is life out of death, that ushers us into the experiential knowledge of His person. This life always stands on the far side of the cross. Whoever will possess it must come under the ‘rod.’ He must repudiate himself, unclothe himself from vain and unprofitable knowledge, and concur in God’s just sentence.
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The proud and self-aggrandized mind cannot know God, for it sits as god and rules over the affairs of itself; it sees no need to submit its will to the will of God. God abhors the proud, He resists and causes him to see the gap and faults in his perceptions. God grants him the chance to seek Him while He may yet be found if perhaps, he will take heed and return in true repentance to His soul’s love; he will find mercy.
We must find ourselves again and again in constant need of God, and make the apprehension of God our daily pursuit. Our hearts must continually lay hold on Him till we perfectly apprehend that for which also we are apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Do you know you can start a loving relationship with Jesus and have Him live in you by faith? You can begin right away by saying this prayer:
Precious Jesus, I’ve realised that I am a sinner in desperate need of your grace and mercy. I accept the gift of your salvation. Come into my heart today; be my Lord. I submit my will to yours. Thank you for this precious gift. I declare that I am saved and a child of God. Amen