4/2 Strength for Today

Paul’s Three Desires

Philippians 3:8
“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”

In Philippians 3:8-12, the Apostle Paul made the statement three times, “...that I may...” Paul actually opened up his heart and showed us the desires of his life. When I look at the desires of the Apostle Paul, I find that his desires were very unselfish. When I look at these desires, I realize that every Christian would probably live a better Christian life and accomplish more for Christ if they had the same desires. These desires that Paul had were not selfish desires, but rather they were desires that made him a better minister for Christ and would make you a better servant for Christ as well.

In verse 8, the Apostle Paul said, “...that I may win Christ,” His first desire was that he would win the favor of Christ. Paul was willing to put away all fleshly desires and material things for the sake of winning the favor of Christ. Paul showed us that he lived his life constantly trying to get God's attention and favor.

If every Christian would live this way, it would literally revolutionize them and their churches. Too many Christians are not trying to win the favor of Christ, but rather they are trying to win the favor of the world. This is a great travesty! We ought to live our lives trying to win God's favor on a daily basis. If we had God's favor on our lives we could use that favor to influence God to change our world.

In verse 10 the second desire of Paul is revealed as he said, “That I may know him...” Paul desired to know Christ in a very personal way. He didn't just want a casual knowledge of God; he wanted to know God through and through.

Christian, how much desire do you have to know God? Is your desire to know God so great that it would move you to live a righteous life? According to verse 9, the desire to know Christ in a personal way will cause you to live righteously and put away all unrighteousness. Until you get to the point when you would rather know Christ than live with your sin, you will never have the privilege of knowing Christ in a close and personal way.

Lastly, in verse 12 Paul said, “...that I may apprehend...” His final desire was to succeed in Christ. He was not concerned about having worldly success, but rather he desired to succeed in Christ. He wanted to have victory in the Christian life. The desire to have God's favor and to know Christ will cause you to put away fleshly and worldly things. When you put these things away, it will cause you to have victory in the Christian life. You will never have great victory as a Christian until you accomplish the first two desires. Once the first two desires are accomplished, this third desire of having success in Christ will be achieved.

Do you find Paul's desires mirror your desires? Your daily prayer and desire ought to be to win the favor of God, to know Him in a personal and intimate way and to find victory and success in the Christian life. If you can accomplish these three things, you will find great victories in the Christian life just as Paul did.

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