OBTAINING THAT FOR WHICH WE HAVE BEEN OBTAINED
The Apostle Paul said, "I pursue, if also I may obtain that for which I have been obtained by Christ Jesus" (v. 12, Gk.). Christ has obtained us that we may obtain Him. One day we repented and believed in Christ. According to our feeling, we were saved, but according to Christ’s realization, we were captured by Him. Christ has taken possession of us, not that we may go to heaven or be good Christians, but that we may obtain Him. We need to pursue Him so that we may lay hold of that for which we have been laid hold of by Him. Therefore, we should say, "Lord, I thank You for obtaining me. You have obtained me so that I may obtain You. This was Your purpose in taking possession of me."
As we have pointed out, the best way to obtain Christ is to eat Him. He desires that we eat more and more of Him. In order to eat Christ, we must deny whatever we are, whatever we have, and whatever we are able to do. This is the way to obtain that for which we have been obtained by Christ.
It is not simply a matter of learning Christ, but of taking possession of Him. By denying all that we are naturally, we take possession of Him. We must deny not only our hatred, but also our love; not only our pride, but also our humility; not only our dullness, but also our intelligence. The way to enjoy Christ is to deny everything that we are by nature.
COUNTING ALL THINGS LOSS
According to Philippians 3, to deny everything is to count everything loss because of Christ, because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. How excellent Christ is! This excellent knowledge will motivate us to count all things loss. We must even deny our knowledge of the Bible. I have been studying the Bible for more than fifty years, and I have acquired a good deal of Bible knowledge. However, if I trust in my knowledge while I am giving a message, that message will amount to nothing. Every time I speak I have learned to say to the Lord, "Lord, I have nothing. Even if I have something, it does not count. Lord, You must come in to be everything. Lord, You be the speaking, the outline, the points, the instant utterance, and the whole message." When I speak like this, something new is released time after time, and I am the first one to be fed. However, if I trust in my knowledge, even the knowledge I received yesterday, I shall not have any nourishment. In such a case, I would be trusting in something good that is not Christ.
Again I say, the way for us to enjoy Christ is to deny everything we have and are. We must even deny the best spiritual experiences we have had. The way to eat Christ is to deny everything and to come to Him empty-handed. If you empty out your whole being, He will be something new to you.
Paul not only counted all things loss for the sake of Christ, but counted all things as dung. According to his accounting, everything meant nothing. Because he always counted everything loss for the sake of Christ, he constantly enjoyed Christ. The more things you deny, the more Christ will replace you and the more He becomes your experience and enjoyment. Our slogan should be this: "Oh, that I may gain Christ!" Oh, that we may also obtain that for which we have been obtained by Christ. The way to obtain Him, gain Him, experience Him, and enjoy Him is to deny whatever we are, whatever we have, and whatever we can do. Do not bring anything to Christ. He does not need what you are or have, but you need Him. In every way Christ wants to replace you with Himself. Christ has already obtained us that we may obtain Him. Now He is waiting for us to experience Him and enjoy Him by denying all things and by counting all things loss for His sake.
(The Experience of Christ, Chapter 8, by Witness Lee)