Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gaining and Losing




Gaining and Losing

Teach me, Lord, that to gain all you have for me, I must be willing to lose.  Paul was a competitor.  He readily admitted his credentials and advancements (Galatians 1:14).  Humanly speaking, he was the best, a Hebrew of Hebrews.  But what a changed person he became when he started doing the math from your perspective -- when he started considering "everything a loss . . . " (Phil. 3:8).

His new math skills were not gained by his natural brilliance.  Actually, Paul relinquished his earthly accomplishments when you revealed yourself to him:  he chose to forget what was behind (3:13).  He was willing to lose his zeal, his perspective, his natural passions to gain you -- to win Christ.  Lord, that's an extremely difficult lesson for me:  Is my determined purpose to know you?  Am I willing to lose, to win?

Deliver me, Lord, from my own calculations: knowing the right people for that more promising job, comparing myself with others in the same season of life, giving up on that one young person when you want me to press on and leave the 99 behind, glorifying the past of when the buck didn't stop with me, refusing to simplify my schedule or reduce my purchases.  I must not mix my reason with yours, not lean on my own understanding.  The world is full of logic and intelligence.  But only when I let you teach me, only when I forget what is behind and do the "one thing" do I gain a heart of wisdom.  As a woman who is taking your Kingdom by force, remind me that eternal life is knowing you (John 17:3).  

Psalm 27:4 "One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple."

Questions for Reflection:

1. What might God be asking you to "forget what was behind"?
2. How is it a loss for you?
3. In that situation, would you consider forming a prayer where you ask for more of Christ - to gain Him?  Journal any insights you are given.

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