PSALM 73:25 – Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
THEME OF THE DAY. PURSUING THE UNATTAINABLE. A.W. Tozer once said, “We are called to an everlasting preoccupation with God.” This simple, but profound statement captures the whole essence of the Christian life. The nature of salvation – new birth through Christ; the nature of growth as a Christian – becoming more and more like Christ; and the culmination of the Christian life – surrendering faith in Christ for the sight of Christ creates a life obsessed, consumed, and preoccupied with the Person of Jesus Christ. It is a life able to proclaim the words of the Psalmist with sincerity and affection.
So, with that introduction, let’s pull away from our screens for a moment, stop reading, and ponder this question, “Am I obsessed, consumed, and preoccupied with the Person of Jesus Christ?” Before you begin, I, too, am pausing right now in writing this nugget to join in this necessary work of self-examination. Okay. We are back. And by way of confession, I admit I am not able to answer that probing question with a strong affirmation saying, “Absolutely.” Neither are you. But don’t be discouraged. This is the reality of the Christian life of warfare. We live in the now (temporal time and space) and not yet (glorified and heaven) simultaneously. It is the reality of what the Apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians – Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). But here is the encouragement. Though we cannot obtain the unattainable in this life, we want to. The hunger for Christ, to be consumed, obsessed, and preoccupied with Him is the most important trait in healthy, maturing Christians. Now back to the Apostle Paul . . .
He gives us the proper attitude in the Christian life. Was Paul preoccupied, consumed, and obsessed with Jesus? No doubt. Christ was everything to him. If a person entered a conversation with the Apostle, it wouldn’t be long until Jesus was the chief topic. Yet, Paul knew he had not arrived spiritually. He knew the work begun in him wasn’t complete (Philippians 1:6). However, that didn’t create a “Well, I’ll never get there so why try” attitude. Just the opposite. Such an example is ours. We won’t meet with perfection in this life in becoming like Christ and knowing Him, but there should be progress in both – a progress that finds us diligently seeking Him wholeheartedly in Word, prayer, and church. And oh the deepening joy that occurs when this pursuit is active and aggressive.
Pursuing the unattainable. Makes no sense to the world, but it does to the Christian for it defines the Christian life this side of heaven.
PRAYER: “Father, may I be so preoccupied with You that I have no space in my heart for any competing affections.”
QUOTE: “The Christian life is to be one of being preoccupied with Christ. In that place is peace, rest, joy and power.”