“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.”
Saul of Tarsus was a Pharisee, very zealous for the Jewish scriptures. His credentials were impeccable. In the circles he was connected with, he was a very important person. However, there was one problem, he may have had the scriptures memorized and was very zealous in keeping all the rules, but he missed the Person of the scriptures. If he had died while immersed in his religious role, he most definitely would have been a failure. While his conversion is probably the most well known story in the scriptures, it isn’t the miraculous and dramatic event on the road to Damascus that is the key, the heart of the story is that Saul was taken prisoner by Jesus Christ that day and experienced a rebirth that truly made him a new creation. That is the reason Paul could write the above words. He learned the secret to being a believer.
Have you come into agreement with the above scripture or are you still trying to live with one foot in both worlds? This scripture does not speak only to our physical person, but our spiritual minds. While Jesus can use our physical talents in our new life, if He chooses, He cannot and will not use the world’s thinking. When we continue to operate in the understanding of our own minds, we have shut the door to the Holy Spirit. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Our lack of spiritual maturity leaves us very vulnerable. We cannot discern if we are where God would have us to be a messenger for Him (even in the midst of great tribulation) or if we are not where He would have us. We are what James describes as being “double-minded”! “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)
Saul was taken to the house of a man named Judas and for three days he neither ate nor had anything to drink. He was blind and was praying for understanding. Did you catch it? Three days. It’s a time of spiritual completeness.
Many believers are blind today and not even aware of it. Saul could not “see” but he was learning to hear with his other senses. He could no longer lean on his own understanding. He was just blinded by a blinding light out of heaven and a voice asking him why he was persecuting Him! His world was just turned upside down! Obviously there was something wrong in Saul’s life and now he was “waiting”.
Beloved, will it take a blinding, a serious accident or illness, a loss so great that you are completely undone, before you are willing to acknowledge that your life may be out of alignment with the will of God? Will you experience a “failure” in the sight of the world to be brought to your knees and willing to let God remold you to be who He created you to be?
Or, are you willing to be a messenger of God in whatever places He chooses, and possibly look like you’ve failed because the results achieved aren’t what the “world” (or maybe you) expected? God’s plans are not our plans and His ways are much higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
Can we begin today with the verse today, to come into agreement with the Lord that anything that we can achieve on our own is of no worth in comparison with what God has planned for our lives? Can we leave those things behind and with empty hands wait on God to fill them?
Lord God, this verse is a cornerstone of the foundation You want laid in our lives. The cornerstone is the brick that holds the structure together. We know that the cornerstone is Jesus Christ. He has made all things new and the old things have died to those who have accepted His free gift by the washing of His blood. We need renewing today and are so in need of the Holy Spirit to bring life in us! Thank You for sharing with us the lives of those who have gone before us as an example for us to follow. We bow before You and worship You, the Lord of lords and the King of kings. You are our everything. We pray all of these things in the blessed name of Your Son, Jesus Christ! Amen.