What is our goal in life? What is God expecting of us? What do we expect of ourselves? It’s a good question to ask as we go into worship.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones.
Christlikeness. That’s our goal. So, how do we attain becoming like Christ? By knowing Christ–not about Christ, but knowing Him intimately and thus becoming just like Him. The Spirit’s job is to teach us to be like Him, and is Himself Yeshua (Jesus). To know Christ is to become like Him; to become like Him calls us to a higher understanding and closer walk with Him.
God has gifted us with everything we need for godly living–Himself!
What are His expectations?
That we believe (act on, put our faith and trust in)
His One and only Son–daily, even continuously (John 6:29).
So, how do we get to know Him and become like Him? Paul tells us in Philippians 3.
10 I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead! NLT
What?! I’m not sure I like that version. Let’s try a different one.
Now I long to know Christ and the power shown by his resurrection: now I long to share his sufferings, even to die as he died, so that I may perhaps attain as he did, the resurrection from the dead. J.B. Phillips
Hey, I like that one even less! Surely there’s a better one.
10 And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; 11 so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead. AMP
Well, there’s one more I want to try.
10 [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] 11 That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
In case you haven’t noticed, it is all about the relationship. And, like Paul, the resurrection power calls us to die to self and live WITH Christ. I used to say, “He died for me; I’ll live for Him,” but people can live FOR Christ without ever really knowing Christ. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing: It’s a relationship. Let’s spend time with Him in worship this morning and then walk with Him through the rest of the day. Let’s allow Him to guide our evening, speak to us in our dreams, and then call us to get up and join Him at the table for prayer and Bible study in the morning. Then, repeat.
Abba, as we begin this new year worshipping “together,” may we seek Your face (Psalm 27:8) through praise and worship, fellowship and teaching. May we put You on the throne of our hearts AND KEEP YOU THERE. Be our God; reveal Yourself to us. We are Yours. Amen.