“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).
Have you won the Lord’s heart? The apostle Paul stated the purpose of renouncing his past life as this: “That I may win Christ.” He was completely captivated by Christ, having eyes only for the Lord.
Why would Paul feel the need to “win” Christ? Christ already had revealed Himself not just to the apostle, but in him. Even so, Paul set out to win Christ’s heart and affection.
You see, Paul’s entire being—his ministry, his life, his very purpose for living—was focused only on pleasing his Master and Lord. All else was rubbish to him! I believe one of the reasons Paul never married was to give himself more time to care “for the things that belong to the Lord, how [I] may please the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:32). And he urged others in the same direction, “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing” (Colossians 1:10).
Is this scriptural—this “winning the heart of Jesus”? Are we not all the object of God’s love, regardless? Indeed, His benevolent love extends to all mankind. But there is another kind of love—an affectionate love such as occurs between a husband and wife—and only a few ever experience it.
This love is expressed in the Song of Solomon, with Solomon portrayed as a type of Christ. In this passage, the Lord speaks of His bride: “Thou hast ravished my heart . . . my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one 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). Later, He says, “Turn away thine eyes from me, for they have overcome me” (6:5). His bride responds, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me” (7:10).
I believe the Bride of Christ will consist of a holy people who live so pleasingly to their Lord, so obediently, so separated from all others, that His heart will be ravished. The word “ravish” as used in this verse means “to steal my heart.” Christ’s followers ravish His heart with one eye (Song of Solomon 4:9). That one eye is the singleness of a mind focused on Christ alone.