Short Meditations in Philippians: 3. Heart Desire
Phil 1:9b that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight
Put very simply this is what Paul wants for the Christians to whom he is writing, that he wants their love to get bigger and bigger and overflow – and he gives the way it is to overflow (abound); it is by having more and more knowledge and insight. Of what? Surely, of the love and the goodness and the grace and the wonder of God as revealed to us through His word, through His Son and through His Holy Spirit.
This is what their apostle wants for this people, this group of Christians to which he is a father-figure, and as such he is an example to us, first to leaders but then to each of us. He focuses us on this particular desire for these people.
If you are a church leader of any kind, what is it that you want most for your people? Is it that they will be good, loyal members of your church or group? Is it that they will be good volunteers, to be those who serve the church? Do we have any describable desire for people or are we so taken up with ourselves that we really don’t think very much about others, and certainly don’t work on their behalf to bring about such desires as Paul now expresses?
Please really think about this seriously. So often I think preachers want to either just fill in the Sunday morning preaching slot with nice encouraging words, or maybe they might have the desire of imparting knowledge of God’s word, but unless these things are always undergirded by this one over-arching desire, we fall short of God’s desire for His people and what He wants to achieve through us.
Above all else, I am certain as I read the whole Bible that the Lord’s greatest desire is that we know Him and in knowing Him we know the One who IS love (1 Jn 4:8,16), and when we experience love we will express love. I express love the more I receive it. It’s how it works. We are transformed by experiencing His love and part of that transformation is that we express love more and more, because we will be expressing Him more and more as His indwelling Spirit lives and works within us.
Do I want other people to be transformed? Yes! Why? Three reasons. First, because God wants them to be transformed. Why? Because, second, He has something better for each of us than what we are now, and third, that ‘better’ is a life more enjoyable, more fulfilled, more resourced than it is now. This is what His love wants to achieve in us – MORE than we have now. This is what I want for each person I have in mind when I write, or each person I meet in church; it is a realistic desire because it is what God wants and is working for.