The Greatest Ambition
The Greatest Ambition: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
The Apostle Paul wrote that the purpose of his life and his greatest ambition was to know Jesus Christ, because Jesus was worth losing everything over. In my earlier days as a Christian missionary, my primary aim was to do ministry and before that my goal was simply to play video games and to spend my days entertaining myself.
Like the Apostle Paul, these things left me empty and dry, and I now consider them a complete loss compared to the all surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus. I may have lost everything else, but it’s nothing comparing to knowing Him.
The purpose of our life is to know Jesus – and we can only do that because He bought us, so in verse 12 Paul tells us that he presses on to know the Lord more and to take a hold of what Jesus bought for Him:
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.
What this means is that whether or not we’ve done well over the past 5 minutes, hours, weeks, or even a lifetime, it doesn’t matter. We are to press on to know Jesus, because He has made us His own for this very purpose. Forget what lies behind and press on to the ultimate ambition of knowing Jesus our Lord.
This sounds great, but how will it change our lives? What this means is that wherever Jesus is, we should strive to be there as well. Jesus is in the place of humility and love, so we should always strive to know Him by being humble and loving our neighbors – not just for goodness sake but because it draws us nearer to Him. It also means that we will love the poor and seek the lost just like He did on earth, because He told us in John 12:26 that “… where I am, there will My servant be also”.
If we want to see life as God intended it, we will do the things Jesus did and be in the places Jesus was – with the broken and the poor, with the widow and the orphan, and speaking the gospel to the lost. It’s difficult, painful, and risky, but He is completely worth it. His love is better than life (Psalm 63), and He is worthy.
So my question to you is: what is keeping you from knowing Him more and what will you do about it?