And this, so that I may know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely] and [in that same way experience] the power of His resurrection [which overflows and is active in believers], and [that I may share] the fellowship of His sufferings, by being continually conformed [inwardly into His likeness even] to His death [dying as He did]; so that I may attain to the resurrection [that will raise me] from the dead.” PHILIPPIANS 3:10-11 AMP
Paul was captured by the person of Christ. He wanted to know Jesus so well that he would be able to grasp the reality of the resurrection power living inside him. Considering the fact that Jesus lived within him, Paul was identifying the reality that he, as well as all other believers in Christ, was possessed of the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. He takes it one step further when he says that he wanted to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings. It is one thing to want to share in someone's glory, but it is totally something else to want to share in their sufferings. Paul wanted himself (his will and ways) to die and, through the process (suffering) of dying experience the power of Christ coming alive in him. There lies a mystery here: when we die to ourselves, the power of Jesus raises us to a place of life that we would, otherwise, never experience. “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matthew 16:25 NLT Do you want to experience the temporary satisfaction that comes from doing things your way but ultimately leads to death or do you want to die to yourself and experience the power of God that resurrects you to a new creature in Christ with eternity to look forward to? Wouldn't it be foolish to hang on to life as we know it and miss life as it was intended? Only when we are willing to die to ourselves will we experience the resurrection power of Christ in our lives. How well do you want yo know Him? Sure, lots of people want to pray a prayer and go to heaven when they die. The real question is this: are you willing to die (surrender your will) right now, in this moment, to experience the power of Christ living through you? What a waste to live a few short years for myself when I could have lived for the One who created me and then live on in eternity when I die. When you understand the power of Jesus in you, there is no comparison. Which experience do you want? Yours or His? I think I'll take the latter.
Rev. Curtis Norris