“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.” Philippians 3:10
I am sure we have all experienced it. After spending a lot of time and energy and making sure everything was in its place, the time had come to flip the switch on the lights that I had carefully and thoughtfully put up on my house and front lawn. I was ready to stand back and take it all in. For sure, I was expecting great things. But when the time had come to turn on those lights, there was nothing. Muttering to myself that I had already invested too much time in this annual project, I set out to begin the second phase of this tortuous task—checking all my connections to find the reason for the lack of power. Going up and down the line, I pushed and pulled at every connection to make sure it was secure and to locate the source of the problem. When I finally located it, I found that there was indeed a loose connection. Even though everything looked to be in order, it was not. However, when the adjustment was made, what a difference it made! There was bright light everywhere and the personal satisfaction that my efforts were not in vain.
A Poor Connection
It is not too hard to see the spiritual parallel, is it? For many of us, there are many times we are expecting great things from God, yet it is just not happening. Everything is laid out and seems to be in order: regular attendance at our local fellowship, involvement in Christian service and ministry, and even regular prayer and personal Bible study. Even though everything looks in order, something is not quite right. Maybe there is a need to see if every spiritual connection is as good as it should be, and if any adjustments need to be made.
A Strong Connection
When it comes to being properly connected to the Lord, the Word of God gives us some sound advice. Paul’s aspiration as he expressed it to the Philippians was that he might “know Him [Christ] and the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10). His continual desire was to grow in the knowledge of the Lord and then have that knowledge translate into spiritual strength. This was his goal even though he had come to Christ many years before. He was not stagnant in his faith but was always pressing toward the mark. Despite the abundance of revelation he had received and the experiences he went through in his service for the Lord (read 2 Cor. 11:23-28), his greatest desire was to know the Lord even more. This was the secret of his spiritual strength. Even Peter exhorted his readers to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus (2 Pet. 3:18). Hosea 6:3 exhorts, “then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” Paul also expressed this same principle in writing to the Colossians. He prayed that they too, would be “filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” and that they would “walk worthy of the Lord…and increase in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9-10). He prayed the same thing for the Christians at Ephesus that they might know “…what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:19). The next words are telling: “according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead” (v. 20). It is the same principle—that they might know Him and the power of His resurrection. This is the strength that comes when walking in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5). And what might that strength look like practically speaking? Certainly, it will manifest itself in boldness in our public witness for Christ or stepping out in faith to do great things for Him. It can mean the same thing for us with whatever task the Lord gives us to do. But if we are to expect to do great things for Him because of the great things He has done for us, it requires a strong connection to make sure the current of God’s power and strength is flowing through us. “Flowing through us, Thou canst use us, every day and every hour.” For that to be done there might need to be some adjustments made to secure those connections.
We at Cornerstone Magazine when establishing this ministry, set the goals as seen on the cover page “Exalting Christ, Equipping Believers, Evangelizing the World.” Our goal is to proclaim the glories of our Savior, His wonderful Person and Work. We also have a desire to strengthen believers in their precious faith. But we also have as our goal to share the good news of the gospel to those who have not yet come to know Him. We are keenly aware of the fact that this magazine finds itself in the hands of many around the globe, some of whom do not know Him but are as busy as ever in religious activity. Like Paul before his conversion, they pride themselves on their religious affiliation and spiritual heritage (Phil. 3:4-8) as if that qualified them in the sight of God and connected them to the God of heaven. If this is your situation, we invite you to turn to Him by faith so that the light of Christ will instantly begin to shine in your life to the glory of God.