“My Soul Follows Hard After You…” (Psalm 63:8)
“That I might know Him, and the power of His Resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3:10).
In the above verse, the Apostle Paul shares his deep desire to draw closer to the Lord Jesus. Our heartfelt desire, as well, should be that we might draw nearer the Lord and get a further glimpse of His glory. That is, a greater glimpse of the Lord in His love for us. A love that would cause him to live among us as the sinless God/Man and die on a cruel cross for our sins. That we might say with Paul:
“That I might know Him.”
Initially, we come to know Him by placing our faith in Him and what He did for us at the cross. However, what Paul is talking about here is growing closer to our wonderful savior as we pursue Him earnestly each day. When seeking Him is our most treasured desire, John 16:14 says this of the Holy Spirit, “He will glorify Me (Jesus): for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.”. The Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to us. Paul goes on to say the following:
“And the power of His resurrection.”
“The power of His Resurrection” is pointing to being raised with Him in “newness of life” (Romans 6:3-5). Because of what Jesus accomplished at the cross, spiritually speaking, we have died with Him, have been buried with Him and have been raised up or resurrected to “newness of life”. His Resurrection also assures all those that love Him that we too will be literally resurrected and be with the Lord forever.
“And the fellowship of His suffering.”
We are to deny ourselves and take up the cross. It’s personal. This speaks of denying ourselves, that is, our own abilities, but also our will. We, by faith, are to follow Him by our daily trust in Jesus and what He accomplished at the cross. He suffered for us on the cross. He said, “Thy will be done” to the Father. We are to have this same attitude of life.
“Being made conformable to His death.”
The dictionary defines the word conform to mean to be or to become similar in form, nature or character. We are not speaking of personal suffering here, although we will undoubtedly go through suffering in this life. Jesus suffered and paid it all at the cross. We are to understand that the only way we can conform to His death is to realize that our faith in the cross both for salvation and sanctification is the only way we can accomplish this. Jesus said, “If any man will come after Me (seek to know and walk with the Lord intimately), let him deny himself (our own willpower, self-will, ability, and strength), and take up his cross (faith in what Jesus accomplished there) daily and follow me.” We must come in faith and yield to the Lord’s will and way. This will become our heartfelt desire as we pursue Him.
As the song says:
This is the air I breathe. Your holy presence living in me. This is my daily bread. Your very word spoken to me. And I, I’m desperate for You. And I, I’m lost without you. (Breathe – composed by Michael W. Smith)
Paul, the master-builder of the church, and I believe one of the greatest examples of what faith in Jesus and the cross can produce in a life, sought to go on with Jesus and to know Him in a deeper way. He knew that the only way to do that was to know Him in His suffering. The cross was the reason He came and if we want to know Him, we must meet Him there. You can hear Paul’s own heartfelt desire in these words he shared with us from Philippians 3:10. May they be ours as well. He loved us with a love that is infinite in nature.
As the following verse from the psalms says:
“I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah” (Psalm 146:6).
Our desire for Him comes from the Holy Spirit in us drawing us closer to Jesus. Paul expressed a desire for Him that is in all of us that love Him and look for His coming. Our heartfelt desire is “that we might know Him.” Through the desire in us to draw closer to Him, the Holy Spirit is calling us to a place we have not been before. Let us harken to His call. Let this be our heartfelt desire. May the Lord give us a glimpse of His glory.
“As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1,2A).
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Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com 2021