Intimacy Opportunities Part 4

The example from the Song of Songs was about convenience being able to distract or block us from intimacy. What about perspective? The greatest example of this in the NT is the apostle Paul. Have you ever wondered what it was like for Paul when he was still known as Saul and persecuting the young church as an angry and passionate Pharisee? Here he was passionately pursuing what he thought was the right thing and praying for help. Who was he praying to for help? Yahweh, the very one he was persecuting. Talk about wrong perspective!

What was available to Paul? He himself tells us what he was missing with his wrong perspective.  

10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12  Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12 (NKJV)

We see this same passage unveiling much more in the Amplified version.

10  [For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection [which it exerts over believers], and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into His likeness even] to His death, [in the hope] 11  That if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. 12  Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. Philippians 3:10-12 (AMP)

As Saul, Paul had great passion, just wrongly directed. I think in his description of the lost in Israel he was also describing his pre conversion state.

1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2  For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. Romans 10:1-3 (NKJV)

Why did Saul and the others in Israel hold such a wrong perspective? Was the truth not available? The truth was available but they refused to humble themselves and submit to this truth and so held stubbornly to wrong views. Also, at conversion all of our wrong perspectives don’t immediately vanish. Study Paul’s post conversion life. He still had to transition from arrogance to humility. Why do you think that both directly and indirectly he wrote so much about the need for the renewing of our minds? Simple, he experienced it.

My prayer is that we will ask the Holy Spirit to pull back the veil and reveal to each of us the things we are holding onto that are keeping us from deep intimacy with Him. I regularly pray to Him to show me strongholds in my own life that I may tear them down and see more clearly. Please join me.  

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I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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