Recreating the Masterpiece
By Paul Dailey
"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. . . . Brothers, I do not
consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I
do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has
called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:8, Philippians 3:13-14)
The chances are pretty fair that if you’ve been a Christian
for some length of time, you have probably read these verses. And
if you have even the slightest love for Jesus, those words evoke
a retort in your heart -- something like a teenager at a rock
concert. The Spirit of God inside you is leaping in untamed exhilaration
at having identified with the very heart of God that beats in
Jesus. The Spirit inside you testifies to the truth. I don’t
care who you are. I don’t care what your denominational
slant on things might be. I don’t even care what version
of the Bible you trust the most. There is something inside every
believer that, when you read this verse, you can’t help
but cry out, "Yes Lord, that’s what I want!"
But what happened from the time you first read that verse till
now? Why doesn’t every believer live like that? Why did
the colors of that picture run together like finger paints in
the rain? Ask yourself, "What took place in my life that
caused that picture of Jesus to become blurred beyond recognition?"
I believe the answer is all around you.
Paul said, "But one thing I do ..."
was nothing else for him. But life isn’t set up that way.
The whole system of the world and the entire plan of the enemy
are deliberately intended to keep you from the one thing. From
there to here you have gotten caught up in many things. Your life
has splintered into a million tiny pieces. The beautiful magnum
opus Jesus painted on your heart the very first day you surrendered
to Him was slowly torn to shreds until all that remains is a shattered,
fruitless existence. You find you have traded the magnificence
of that work of art for old, washed-out snapshots of your own
But take heart, friend. All is not lost. Jesus is the great Master
Artist, and He can always start again to create a masterpiece
in you. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are
possible. He can gather the fragmented pieces of your life and
begin to reconstruct them together again for His glory.
I am on this journey with you. I have found that I had lost that
fervor, that desire to press beyond the gossamer veil of accomplishment,
in order to find the excellence of the knowledge of Christ. It’s
a challenge to forget those things. But I am realizing that, one
day at a time, as I lie on my face before the Lord, the passion
is returning quickly. It is mental and spiritual warfare to put
aside the accolades, as well as the disasters, and fasten myself
to the one thing. God is faithful, and for each thing
I have laid aside, for each trophy that I now count as rubbish,
I find another portion of that work of genius. With the Lord’s
help, I am piecing the "Mona Lisa" back together again
and rediscovering the glory of God.
I want to encourage you today. Wherever you are right now, if
you read that passage from Philippians and your heart still cries
in youthful exuberance, "Yes, Lord, that’s the hunger
for You I want," there is still time. You haven’t
gone too far. You haven’t blown your last chance. Get down
on your knees right now and ask God to help you regain that passion
for Him. Let the Lord put His brush to the canvas of your heart
and paint something new and fresh in you today. Little by little
you will see the image of Jesus begin to take shape in you. And
before you know it, you’ll be right back where God wants
you, pressing into Him and reveling in the all-surpassing excellent
knowledge of Jesus.
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