For the follower of Jesus, our whole goal in life should be to KNOW Jesus, to HEAR His voice to us, and to OBEY what He tells us to do.”
Have you ever walked into a bookstore and seen the section of books on “self- help” or “self-improvement”? This world is consumed with the idea that we can educate ourselves to become better people. Better in personal relationships, better in business, better in selling, better moms and dads, better at sex, better at love, better at looking sexy, better at success in all areas, and a host of improving “our selves”. Look at the millions of dollars spent each year on “self improvement” teaching in books, CD’s, videos, computer programs, seminars, etc. All of these things are designed to build up and improve upon your “SELF” which is the fruit of eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
This was what the Apostle Paul was like before he encountered Jesus. He was pressing on to be the most educated successful Pharisee of them all. He was highly motivated to be the best of the best.
This whole concept of building up and improving our “SELF” is contrary to what God has done for us in the new birth. “and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15.
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ,…” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-18.
“in Him we live, and move, and exist” – Acts 17:28
“If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” – Colossians 3:1-3.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33.
What things shall be added to you?? The things the natural man who is not in covenant with Jesus seeks after. Jesus is our Shepherd and as such He “leads” into the things we need. He is our source, not our own abilities to achieve anything. To receive freely from Him we simply seek first His ways of doing things, not our ways.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect,” – Romans 12:2
“not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17.
“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Galatians 2:20
“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,…
“that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings,…
“I press on in order that I may lay hold of that war which also I was lay hold of in Christ Jesus.
“Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:7-14