We will spend a lifetime aligning what we know with what we do. The more we know, the more motivation we have to do; the more we do, the better we get at it.
4 A sluggard’s [ungodly person’s] appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent [disciple of Christ] are fully satisfied.
God has placed His Spirit within us and has given us a hunger for the Bread of Life (His Word) and a thirst for His living Water (His company). Our lives are filled with His love, joy, and peace, His hope and His grace. Even as we are filled, we desire to know Him more. But, a person who does not know Christ, who is not filled with His Spirit, tries to fill that “God-shaped hole” in his heart with all manner of stuff, none of which is capable of filling it. Proverbs says it this way:
25 The righteous eat to their hearts’ content, but the stomach of the wicked [those who go their own way] goes hungry.
As the Spirit reveals Jesus to us, we tap into the connection between the Holy Spirit and Jesus. That connection is full and complete; our availability to it has more to do with our download speed. As we grow in Him, our bandwidth increases and our ability to comprehend increases correspondingly. Daily Bible study WILL enhance our connection.
Peter described it like this:
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 1 Peter 1:8
Want to experience this “inexpressible and glorious joy” daily? Talk to God as you read His Word. I heard recently that if you want to hear God speak out loud, simply read His Word out loud. It’s the same thing!
Paul spoke of his desire to enhance his connection with Jesus. NOTICE that I didn’t say, “increase;” that would imply that our connection is not already full and complete, which it is. The word, “enhance,” means, “to raise to a higher degree; to magnify, intensify.” Sounds like praise, doesn’t it? It explains why Paul breaks out into praise in the middle of Romans! Read it in 11:33-36.
As stated in the opening statement, we will spend a lifetime aligning what we know with what we do. The more we know Christ, which comes from spending time with Him–yes, He’s with us always, but we tend to ignore His presence and voice in our lives. We are so used to doing things ourselves our own way that we neglect to check with Him–the more motivation we have to do; the more we do, the better we get at it.
7 But whatever were gains to me [in this life] I now consider loss [hindrances and entanglements-see Heb. 12:1] for the sake of [knowing] Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things [position, status, income, health, material goods, etc]. Philippians 3:7-8
Another definition of, “enhance,” is “to raise in value or price.” Paul considered his relationship with Christ to be invaluable (beyond calculable or appraisable value; of estimable worth; priceless), but he also found his worth, his self-esteem in Christ. He continues:
I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law [the old way of trying to be right with God], but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.
Not only is the value of knowing Christ raised as we walk with Him, our view of our value is raised, as well. We see ourselves as He sees us: Treasured, loved, highly esteemed. Even as we feast on these heart-fillers, we desire to know Him more. Paul continues:
10 I want to know [more of] Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection, but also to share in the fellowship of his sufferings [ALL of Christ], becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead [buried with Him in his death, raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4)].
Let’s get good at following Jesus by getting to know Him better. Let’s “keep in step” with the Spirit by reading the Word and allowing Him to apply it to our lives. It’s an “as you go” thing.
“Where He sends we will go, what He says we will do; never fear, only trust and obey. Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy [growing, delighting] in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”