I Want to Know Him

Monday, April 25, 2011

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." Philippians 3:10

Many are willing to follow Christ in the power of His resurrection, but few are willing to follow Him in the fellowship of His suffering. Resurrection is the easier of the two paths-it's exciting, powerful and dramatic, joyful and full of celebration. Suffering is none of that-it is not pretty or dramatic, it's hard and lonely and not very exciting. The truth is that we cannot know Christ in the power of His resurrection until we first truly know him in the fellowship of his sufferings. There cannot be resurrection without death first. Resurrection requires it.

To know Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings is not complicated. It's very simple. But it's not an easy thing and is very painful. It simply means that we lay down our own life for him as he did for us. It is the daily act of crucifying our will and desires. It means putting to death the sinful deeds of our flesh. It also means letting go of our plans for our life. This is becoming like him in his sufferings for he gave up his position in heaven and became flesh. He surrendered his will in the garden of Gethsemane as he prayed, "...nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." He literally gave His life for us. The only way to truly know Christ is through the fellowship of his sufferings. In the very instant that we enter this dimension we then join with him in the power of his resurrection. As we lay down our lives and die to ourselves, our spirits are then resurrected to new life and power through the power of the Spirit. Power comes through death. This is the great paradox-we can't live until we die.

Do you truly want to know Christ? To know him requires our death. To understand the power of his resurrection requires that we understand the fellowship of his sufferings. You can't have one without the other. This is how we become like him. It's not pretty. It's not fun and exciting. There is no fanfare and celebration but it is the only way to life.

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