"More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith..." Philippians 3:8-9
During one of my quiet times this week, these few verses got highlighted in my brain. I found myself asking myself, "where am I found?" over and over again throughout the week. It was a question that intrigued me, unsettled me, and caused me to rethink many aspects of my life and thoughts. Paul's words are cutting, convicting, and truly depict the biblical reality that the word of God is the sword of Spirit (Eph. 6:17). It makes us think and reevaluate the position we give Jesus in our lives. Paul makes his view very clear; he considers everything to be worthless compared to the value he places on knowing Christ, his Savior and Redeemer. Wow. Instead of just skimming past those verses, let them really sink in. Read them over again. Pray. Now read them one more time.
I find myself being "found" in so many different parts of my life and grasping at anything and everything around me for identity, value, and peace. Whether it is being the best dietitian I can be, a loving new wifey, a worthy daughter, a selfless friend, and a "good Christian" (whatever that means), there are so many ways I can make myself feel that I am falling short as a person. I can measure and compare myself to others and find areas where I am not working hard enough, loving hard enough, or just plain BEING enough. But why am I finding my worth in these things? Why am I FOUND in these things? Paul sure wasn't. He was found in Christ through his faith, and calls us all to do the same. He calls us to count everything worthless compared to knowing Christ.
Every time I've read these verses in the past, they've seemed so distant to me...so vague. I often wish someone would just flat out give me a checklist of how to fulfill so many things that we are called to do in the Bible and the type of people we are created to be in Christ. I wonder what my life would look like if I were truly found in Christ the way Paul was, instead of my being found in my career, looks, health, wealth, and every other idol we as humans create for ourselves.
After journaling and praying about these verses, I realized that being found in Christ, for ME, would mean that the loss of any of those above things wouldn't matter, because I would be found in Him, I would KNOW HIM, and that joy and satisfaction would surpass any other worldly achievement I reached. It would mean more to me than a pay raise, a pat on the back, or another pound lost on the scale. Those things wouldn't match up to the value and worth of knowing Jesus Christ more and more every day.
And how do I go about knowing Jesus more intimately? By really and truly dedicating time in my day to spend with Him. And not only time, but dedicating my mind, body, spirit, and every sense to HIM. Yes, I have a daily quiet time, but to be honest, I often forget what I read in the Bible or which short devotional I skimmed through before rushing off to work. My brain gets bombarded by so many other worries, stresses, and even joys, that I often put that quiet time I spent with Jesus on the back burner instead of keeping it at the forefront of my mind all day long. I go through the actions, read, pray, but my mind wanders off to my to-do list, to my worries, and to all the things that I could be doing instead. But God doesn't deserve that.
My prayer and desire is that God brings to my mind all the things that He has taught me. I pray that I can find a way to remember and cherish the glimmers and gifts that He bestows me with. I want things to STICK, you know what I mean? I want to learn and absorb and find myself not being able to get enough of Jesus.
Lord, help me desire YOU more than anything else. Help me to be FOUND IN YOU, and YOU alone, no matter what distractions come my way. When I feel overwhelemd, overworked, and like I am not enough, I pray that I find You in the midst of those thoughts. Help me refocus on You, and to remember who YOU say that I am and not who the world or even I am telling myself that I am. Strengthen my brain and mind to absorb and remember all You teach me, and to be truly present in my time with You. Help me believe your truths, and may everything else count as "rubbish" compared to the surpassing value and worth of knowing You, Jesus. Amen.