“That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” Philippians 3:10
I heard it said recently that we read this verse forwards, but we experience it backwards.
- I am conformed to His death through denying myself and taking up my cross.
- Through this death I fellowship in His sufferings.
- Because I know His suffering and His death, I can then find the power of his resurrection.
- Through these things I come to know my God more.
The word for know is ginosko in the Greek, and it signifies an intimate knowledge and acquaintance. I want to know my God intimately. How does this happen? Through death, suffering, and resurrection.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of when fall inot the ground and die it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
This dying to self brings me into a more intimate fellowship and acquaintance with Him. As I go through the pain and suffering of crucifying my old nature, I get a sliver of a glimpse of the Savior’s suffering me on Calvary. But this death also puts me in a place to experience His resurrection power. The dynamite power which Christ from the dead is mine. To find resurrection I must first die. All of these things put me into a closer knowledge and more intimate experience and understanding with my Savior, allowing me to say, “I know Him.”
Would I know His goodness if He were not good to me in the bad times of life?
Would I understand His nearness apart from walking through desperately scary times where I just needed to feel His presence? (The valley of the shadow of death…”")
Would I be as thankful for His plan were I not put in a situation where my plan availed nothing?
Would I have endurance for this Christian race without being placed into a long-standing trial?
Would I know my God answers prayer without having to wrestle with Him over some hard matter?
That I may know Him. Death is required.