For some years prior to me having my second child and getting sick with Gall stones and Pancreatitis, I can remember sitting before Jesus studying and learning through some studies by Beth Moore and Kay Arthur. Philippians was the book of the Bible that seemed to be where God had me parked for quite some time. He was introducing me great truths like:
Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
Verses 9-11: “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.”
And my favorite!
Philippians 3:1 “Whatever happens, my dear brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord.”
Many of you are saying…”What? Are you kidding me? I am to Praise God no matter what I am going through?” (See my earlier post).
God had a reason I needed to learn this massive teaching. There was nothing about rejoicing that I was wanting to do while I was sick and down at Shands for 49 days after only having my second daughter born 2 weeks before. I struggled with learning how to do this! Especially in the confines of MICU!
God was amazing! He showed me that life was more than what was going on in my own little world. He was showing me that there was a MUCH BIGGER PICTURE! The more I praised him the more I began to see that bigger picture.
Many days I sit with a restless heart knowing that there is more out there of God’s kingdom and I want to experience it. Do you ever wonder if there is more out there that He wants you to experience? Do you want to go beyond where He has taken you before?
That was Paul’s passion when he wrote Philippians. He actually had passion for Jesus oozing out of him! He had a powerful relationship with Jesus more than anyone ever had.
He wrote in Philippians 3 “I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”
If Paul felt like he needed much more of Jesus to experience then maybe I should be restless for knowing more of Jesus.
There are two areas of spiritual hunger we should be searching for. First, is greater intimacy with Jesus! You know the story of Mary and Martha? Martha was the doer and Mary was the listener. I am a natural doer. I am more of a Martha than a Mary. I tend to be busy running around serving Jesus. But more and more I want to experience more of the realness of His presence and His love, the sound of His voice in my soul.
The second area is to have greater impact for Jesus. Making a greater difference for him than I have in the past. The road to doing this is also two-fold. I need to ache to spend time with him more, so I will hear his sweet voice telling me where I can serve him.
My desire is to walk away from every meeting, encounter and experience with the prayer “Jesus, help me to come away with more of you.” This in turn helps me in searching out every possible opportunity to have an impact on somebody else’s life for Him.
I don’t want to be content with how far I have come – instead I want to go beyond anywhere I have gone before for Jesus.
Here is another song for you that might help you reach deep within your own heart to ask God about the bigger picture he has for you!