Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ambition vs. Affection

"If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
But 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." Philippians 3:4-8

In high school I went on a  youth retreat where David Platt preached on this passage.  He discussed how Paul is describing the five treasures of a wasted life.  Five things that, if we treasure above all else, will lead to a wasted life.   

   1.  Family Heritage - circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel
    2.  Social status - of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews
     3.  Biblical Knowledge -  in regard to the law, a Pharisee
     4.  Religious Fervor - as for zeal, persecuting the church
     5.  Moral Lifestyle - as for legalistic righteousness, faultless

Platt’s point was that if we treasure any of these more than knowing Christ (v.7) then our lives will be wasted.  The one that really hit me was "Biblical Knowledge".  That is something that I too often pride myself on and find identity in.  I then realized that Biblical knowledge is only as good as it brings me closer to Christ.

At Venture Corps, we need to hear about "Religious Fervor".  That if all we do is work for God then our lives will be wasted.  All of the stuff we do is only good in so far as it leads us and others deeper into Jesus.

A friend of mine is fond of saying that we should never let our ambition for God become greater than our affection for God.

We are in a generation that desires so much to change the world.  But, what the world needs most isn’t another NGO or non-profit.  It needs people who are deeply in love and intimate with Jesus and willing to share it.

So, let’s make sure that we are always falling more in love with Jesus.  May our ambition for God never become greater than our affection for God.

Devlin McGuire
Venture Corps Chaplain