In Philippians 3:10-11 we discover that the Apostle Paul is passionately pursuing something: I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. In this single sentence Paul shares his great goal for life. His determined purpose as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is to “know him, to participate with Jesus in his resurrection and sufferings, and to become like him.”
For Paul, nothing on earth was more important than pursuing Jesus and becoming like him, yet, strangely, so few followers today pursue this all-important priority with intentionality. It’s not too late to change, but you have to be intentional about it. It’s easy to let summer’s activities and our daily routine distract us from deliberately embracing the aim to become more intimately acquainted with Jesus. Everything around us works against our efforts to participate with Christ and to become like him, because we like to clutter up and complicate our life with other activities, events, and things.
From this time forward, make it your goal in life to pursue Jesus and the causes for which he stands. Jesus had this in mind when he said, Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33). This requires that each of us reorder our private world through the discipline of simplicity. Maybe this means saying “enough is enough.” Advertisements have in mind to make you discontented and dissatisfied with who you are and what you have, but being content will help break this kind of “driven-ness” to always pursue more, bigger, and to have what’s “better-than-yours.” Simplicity will help you become less busy.
Maybe reordering your private world through the discipline of simplicity means rejecting envy. Envy leads to nothing but dead-end streets of judging, comparing, and regretting as our focus turns from the things of God and becomes riveted on others and our own discontentment. Envy will make you feel like you can never measure up, but simplicity reminds you that your worth isn’t found in things, but in God.
To cultivate intimacy with the Almighty, it is essential that you reorder your private life by slowing your pace, choosing to be content, and stopping the envy. Cultivating intimacy with Jesus also means making room for God by taking the time to pray, worshiping with the church, reading God’s Word, and studying the Bible with others. Those who determine to simplify their lives so that God can become more present in them are those who actually pursue God so they can become like him.
Everyone’s busy. Choose what you will pursue.
One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
‘Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Working together to pursue Jesus with you,