"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more." - Philippians 3:4b
The apostle Paul surely could relate to the business executive. Paul
reached the height of his profession only to have it completely stripped
and torn from him. What he thought mattered in life became rubbish
compared to what God did in his heart as He destroyed what seemed
valuable at the time. It took a dramatic event to bring Paul into this
revelation. It took a bright light, blindness, and the most fearful
experience a human could have - being addressed personally by God, who
was questioning why Paul was persecuting His people.
It would not be too long after his conversion that Paul would learn one
of the greatest lessons every child of God must learn. That lesson is to
avoid putting confidence in the flesh. In our work we are rewarded for
achievement. It is a "measurable" life. We work. We see results. We get
certain feelings of accomplishment from these activities.
It was not until I was placed in a situation to experience utter failure
that I could identify with the words of Paul. I have met other
workplace believers as well who achieved great success in their business
life only to experience dramatic failure. That personal handshake with
failure leads to a realization that:
"Whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of
Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the
surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I
have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
and be found in Him..." (Philippians 3:7-9).
Sometimes God lets us experience great pain to learn the lessons of
greatest importance. Knowing Christ intimately is the most important
lesson we will learn. Take stock in what you find your greatest pleasure
in today. Avoid placing your confidence in things that are but rubbish
so that you might know Him more intimately.