Desire ... to Know Him - Get Focused: Part I
Philippians 3:7-11 – Your desire is key! If you focus on the right desires, you’ll have the right goals to achieve true success.
Becoming a successful competitor takes motivation and drive, so there’s got to be a payoff if we’re going to invest the sweat-equity into training and performing as a champion.
WOULD YOU RATHER ... win a bunch of sports trophies or get $100 for each one?
- Which of your trophies, awards, or achievements make you most proud? Why?
- Jump forward 10 years in your life. What would your dream life look like? If you achieved that dream, what would be the point, the payoff, the “so what”?
We like to show off our trophies because they highlight accomplishments. Face it, we collect trophies in every area of our lives. We could have a state championship cup, trophy car, trophy house, trophy wife/husband, trophy job, and piles of trophy investments.
- As you invest your next 10 years, what life trophies would you like to place in your trophy case? Label each trophy with one of your strong desires or goals.
Paul, the writer of Philippians, had a lot of trophies: power, influence, prestige, money, significance, and success. He was living life to the max, pouring himself into what other leaders viewed as an excellent focus: aggressively persecuting Jesus and His followers.
Paul was at the pinnacle, at the top of his game … or so he thought until he met Jesus in a personal and miraculous way (see Acts 9). That meeting forever changed Paul’s focus.
WOULD YOU RATHER ... quarterback the Super Bowl, pitch the World Series, lead the golf pack at the U.S. Open, or smash your way into the Wimbledon semifinals?
The Big “So What”
7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith.
- What do Paul’s words in verse 7-9 tell us about his new focus after he met Jesus? What does Paul highlight as the value — the “so what” — of his new focus?
- How does Paul now view the earthly treasures or trophies he had collected before Jesus was in his life (verse 8)?
Paul talks a lot about our dreams and desires. So does Jesus. The key to success is right desires. If our desires are on target, we’ll succeed. If we’re chasing the wrong things we’ll end up frustrated and empty. The core question is: What do you really want?
19 Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- In Matthew 6:19, Jesus says don’t collect treasures on earth. What are some treasures or trophies people collect today? What is their long-term value?
- What are some “treasures in heaven” that will last forever? Label each trophy with something that might go in your trophy case for heaven. How much are these worth?
10 My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead.
- How did Paul’s original focus affect his decisions and life direction? What “extreme” differences came from his new focus?
- Paul’s heart was fully alive and he was willing to give anything and everything to gain Jesus. For what things are you willing to sacrifice and give your life? Why those?
Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.
- Look back at your two sets of trophies and be honest with yourself. What desires are driving you and your choices now? On what will you spend the next 10 years?
Too often we focus on surface desires. But our deepest heart desires can only be satisfied by really knowing Jesus. After Paul learned this lesson, he never turned back; he’d discovered his deepest God-given desires and the real treasure.
Paul gives it all away for one priceless treasure: “So that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.” Fill in this statement: Deep down what I really desire is ________________ trophies.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
If you want to get to know Jesus personally the way Paul did, turn to page 1497 and review “More Than Winning.”
Before the Next Meeting
Take a closer look at what you truly desire and value. Are they surface desires or deeper, God-given desires? Commit to making your life count for something — something that will last! Tell somebody about your commitment today!