Read Philippians 3:1-11.
There is simply no doubt in my mind that a great deal – and I do mean a great deal – of what gets passed off today as “Christian faith,” the apostle Paul would tag as “garbage.” It’s actually just cheap grace, painless faith and selfish religion all in the name of Jesus. That’s because so many treat faith in Christ as something akin to Luby’s, where you can eat whatever you like and take a pass on whatever doesn’t suit your immediate taste.
But here in this passage, Paul says true Christians not only want to know the power of Christ’s resurrection in their lives, but also do not shrink from participating in his sufferings. They want to attain to the resurrection from the dead, but we’d much rather avoid having to become like him in his death. They want to know Christ Jesus, but necessarily as their “Lord.” They want to be counted “righteous,” but do not want to suffer the loss of anything, much less all things, to do so.
Right at the top of the list of true Christian discipleship is a whole new way of looking at life, the world and our reason for being. It’s perspective of things that says, “To really know Christ, I’m going to deliberately going to lose whatever in my life hinders me from knowing Jesus. When look back on those things, I will not mourn or grieve their loss, for those things are just so much garbage to me now. He is my joy in life now, not those ways or things.”
Father in heaven, this is where I want to be in my walk toward you. I want you to strip me of everything that hinders a real relationship with you. I want to join with you in this process, gladly sloughing off the decay and rot that so easily accumulates on my soul. I want my life to be about the things of surpassing worth – true faith in you – and not about the things that are just so much trash. In Jesus’ name, teach me to trust more in you and less in myself, I pray. Amen.