No Confidence in the Flesh
If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more (Philippians 3:4b).
The apostle Paul surely could relate to the business executive. Paul reached the height of his profession only to have it completely stripped and torn from him. What he thought mattered in life became rubbish compared to what God did in his heart as He destroyed what seemed valuable at the time. It took a dramatic event to bring Paul into this revelation. It took a bright light, blindness, and the most fearful experience a human could have—being addressed personally by God, who was questioning why Paul was persecuting His people.
It would not be too long after his conversion that Paul would learn one of the greatest lessons every child of God must learn. That lesson is to avoid putting confidence in the flesh. In our work we are rewarded for achievement. It is a "measurable" life. We work. We see results. We get certain feelings of accomplishment from these activities.
It was not until I was placed in a situation to experience utter failure that I could identify with the words of Paul. I have met other workplace believers as well who achieved great success in their business life only to experience dramatic failure. That personal handshake with failure leads to a realization that:
"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 and be found in Him..." (Philippians 3:7-9).
Sometimes God lets us experience great pain to learn the lessons of greatest importance. Knowing Christ intimately is the most important lesson we will learn. Take stock in what you find your greatest pleasure in today. Avoid placing your confidence in things that are but rubbish, so that you might know Him more intimately.
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