My Objective is to know Christ
in my own life in ever increasing depth
The above phrase is the first part of the objective of the Kansas Navigator team. It is taken from a scriptural reference in Philippians 3:10, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” What does this process look like? It can be described as a response to the call of God; its knowledge made necessary by rebellion in the Garden of Eden. His lamenting call to Adam, “Where are you?” echoes through the centuries to each one of us with the knowledge of His Divine nature imprinted on our hearts. (Romans 1:20) To know Him, then, is a desire in our hearts which is initiated by God Himself. This was made possible only by the “lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” In the written word we see His testimony concerning the Living Word in John 20:31. “But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name.” It is by this belief, this act of dependence, this transfer of trust to Him to make us righteous in His sight that we begin to know Him. This is the beginning of eternal life. (John 17:3) God declares that we are in Christ and says the following in I Corinthians 1:30. “But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. In righteousness we are free from the penalty of sin, in sanctification we are being made free from the power of sin, and when redemption is final we will be made free from the presence of sin. God further states that His process of knowing Him takes place by interaction with Him in fellowship. I Corinthians 1:9 states: “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (KJV) The word translated fellowship is a word which implies that we have everything in common. G. Campbell Morgan states that this is best described in terms of two words: resources and responsibilities. To have resources and responsibilities in fellowship with Christ means that all His resources are available to meet all my responsibilities, and that all my resources are available to Him to meet His responsibilities.
What are the responsibilities that I have? In Micah 6:8 we read the following. “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” As I look at my own capacity, I can say with the apostle Paul in Romans 7:21, “So I find this law at work: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me.” The good that needs to be done, I am powerless to perform. In the Gospels however, I find His power for my paralysis; His strength for my weakness. He says to the man with the withered hand, “stretch out your hand.” To the paralytic, He says “Get up.” Those were exactly the things they could not do! That which is impossible to do I find possible through the obedience of faith placing its dependence upon His resources. As I look to Him for His resources to meet my responsibilities my knowledge of Him deepens as I interact in fellowship with Him. Jesus states in John 5:30; “By myself I can do nothing,” in John 8:28, “I do nothing on my own,” in John 12:49, “I did not speak of my own accord,” and in John 14:10,”Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing His work.” Christ was dependent upon the Holy Spirit moment by moment to manifest the life of the Father and to make the Father visible to the world. In fellowship with Christ I learn the truth of John 15:4, “apart from me you can do nothing.” In John 17:18 the Lord states, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” As Christ lived in fellowship with the Father, the Holy Spirit manifested the words and the works of the Father through his life. As we live in fellowship with Christ, the Holy Spirit manifests the words and works of Christ through our lives as well. As the Holy Spirit manifested the life of the Father in Christ, so the same Holy Spirit manifests the life of Christ in us.
To live in fellowship with Christ also means that my resources are to be made available for His responsibilities. What are His responsibilities? Luke 19:10 states the following, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” What resources does Christ require of us that He may seek and save? John 12:24 says it this way. “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” We see this illustrated in the life of Isaiah when the Lord asks in Isaiah 6:8, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah’s reply was “Here am I. Send me!” G. Campbell Morgan uses two words to describe Isaiah’s statement. These words are abandonment and readiness.
It is in the abandonment of ourselves to Him that the depth of our relationship increases. In abandonment we lift our arms, as did Moses to Jehovah–Nissi (The Lord our Banner) for His supply. His answer enables us know Him as God Most High, (El–Elyon), the One with perfect knowledge, and absolute sovereignty over our lives. As we look to Him each day, he reveals Himself as Jehovah–Jireh (The Lord will Provide). Literally, the term Jireh means to see, or to foresee. We know Him who has foreseen every need that we will have throughout our life and has already taken steps to provide for us at the perfect time. In all these ways and more, He reveals Himself to us as YHWH. This word, YHWH, translated “I am that I am,” the “Self-existent One,” can be understood as “I am becoming all you need me to be” or as Jill Briscoe described it, the One who “will become all we need Him to be when we need Him to be all that we need.”
Send me. Readiness does not wait until tomorrow. It does not delay its availability until further preparation has occurred. It is the conviction that Christ wants to use me in His redemptive mission today. In readiness I know Christ as the One who has not only prepared me for His work, but has also prepared the work for me to do. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Readiness allows me to know Him more deeply as He lives in me to enable me to deny myself, take up my cross daily and follow Him.
In summary, we can know Christ in our own lives in every increasing depth because “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” (I Corinthians 1:9 NIV) We, in turn, need to be faithful to interact in fellowship with Him. How much time does this require? As much time as you want to spend. II Corinthians 3:18 states that “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” How much change do we want? How much like Him do we want to be? How much do we desire that He be glorified? Our answers to these questions will be reflected in the choices we make every day. If we choose fellowship with Him above all other pursuits, His character will become increasingly evident in our lives and will result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn, and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain that waters the earth. (Hosea 6:3 NASB)
In Christ , Richard Spann