Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WINNING CHRIST

“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” (Philippians 3:8).

Paul was completely captivated by his Lord. Why would he feel the need to “win” Christ? Christ already had revealed himself clearly, and not just to the apostle but in his life. Yet, even so, Paul felt compelled to win Christ’s heart and affection.

Paul’s entire being—his ministry, life and very purpose for living—was focused only on pleasing his Master and Lord. All else was rubbish to him, even “good” things.

Is this scriptural, you may ask, this idea of winning the heart of Jesus? Aren’t we already the objects of God’s love? Indeed, his benevolent love extends to all mankind. But there is another kind of love that few Christians ever experience. It is an affectionate love with Christ such as occurs between a husband and wife.

This love is expressed in the Song of Solomon. In that book Solomon is portrayed as a type of Christ and in one passage the Lord speaks of his bride this way:

“Thou hast ravished my heart…my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one [look] of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck. How fair is thy love…my spouse! How much better is thy love than wine!” (Song of Solomon 4:9-10).

The bride of Christ consists of a holy people who long to be so pleasing to their Lord, and who live so obediently and so separated from all other things, that Christ’s heart will be ravished. The word ravish in this passage means to “unheart” or to “steal my heart.” The King James Version of the above passage says that Christ’s heart is ravished with just “one eye.” I believe that “one eye” is the singleness of a mind focused on Christ alone.