SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:8 (TM) – larger reading: Philippians 3:8-16
Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant - dog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ
Fred Craddock shares: Burghardt DuBois, the great black educator, sociologist, and historian, upon completion of studies at Fisk, Harvard and the University of Berlin, was convinced that change in the condition of the American black could be effected by careful scientific investigations into the truth about the black in America. So he proceeded. His research was flawless and his graphs and charts impeccable. After waiting several years and hearing not the slightest stir of reform, Dr. DuBois had to accept the truth about Truth: Its being available does not mean it will be appropriated.
What do we do with what we know? How is our knowledge expressed? Do we live into that reality?
Professor of youth ministry at my senior college was fond of saying: “You cannot know something that you don’t already know.” He was comparing head knowledge with heart (aka learned behavior) knowledge. Heart knowledge causes a person to instinctively behave in a certain way… without thinking. My comparison is that when my son, Tim, was learning to tie his shoe. He would verbally walk himself through the process, step-by-step. One day I noticed that he just bent down and tied his shoe… quick and easy. The transfer of knowledge from his head to his heart had occurred.
And so Paul writes the church about “knowing Christ” – not a set of historical facts, but the heart knowledge – the living, breathing knowledge that governs a person’s life... the heart knowledge that saturates every cell of ones being. It is the kind of knowledge that doesn’t allow for separation between our being and the reality of Christ.
We can know something without using it. Until we use it we really don’t fully and completely know it. There comes a moment in time we ought to move into being a disciple of Christ without having to try to do it or think about what we are doing. We just do it.
It is something like Henry Higgins stating in My Fair Lady about Eliza Doolittle:
I've grown accustomed to her face
She almost makes the day begin
I've grown accustomed to the tune
That she whistles night and noon
Her smiles, her frowns
Her ups, her downs
Are second nature to me now
Like breathing out, breathing in
I was serenely independent and content before we met
Surely I could always be that way again and yet
I've grown accustomed to her looks
Accustomed to her voice
Accustomed to her face
Our discipleship should be second nature to us… like breathing out, breathing in.
Make it so Lord, make it so. May our discipleship become more than mere head knowledge. May it become a living reality of heart knowledge. Just second nature to us now.