Thursday, February 19, 2009
What I wrestle with...
Today, I heard a sermon by Francis Chan. He is a great preacher out in California. His sermon disturbed me greatly. He spoke on Phillipians 3 when Paul says,
"But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes from God and is by faith. 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, and so, somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead."
The word that Paul uses for rubbish is apparently the equivalent to dog crap, it's actually even stronger than that, he pretty much says s**t. So the question was posed, are all these things in life worthless to me compared to knowing Christ? Is He my treasure? The next question left me in tears. Do I desire to share in His suffering so that I might have this deep fellowship with Him? The answer would be no.
I find that the word suffering strikes terror into my heart, especially this year. I feel that if I had been in Texas and heard this sermon, I would have said heck yes, sign me up for Your sufferings Lord, because I had nothing in mind of what suffering entails. The most suffering in Lubbock was that my car got totaled, but then all my friends surrounded me and offered to drive me places. I did not know suffering. I will say that I still do not the depths of suffering, and that is why that passage scares me. This year has brought a taste of suffering, and the thought of worse things happening feels like too much to bear. Obviously, Christ does not mean more to me than all these things. I am grieved. Francis asked if you would be crucified next to Christ. He said that it would be such fellowship keeping your eyes on Him the whole time through the excruciating pain. My heart says why would I ask for additional pain in this life? I see that I do not trust Him to carry me through it, to give me the strength each day to face it. I must end in saying that I am praying for a change of heart. A friend of mine said that a servant cares deeply about their master's business, that is where I think I have to start.