The Poop of our Past
I wonder sometimes if God chuckles when we step in dog poop. Then I
wonder why, if He knows everything, He didn’t warn me or guide me away
from the mess? Maybe it’s the value of humility? I never feel so
immersed in this world or so completely vulnerable than when I’m
scraping poop off my shoe. If we can praise God through a mess of poo
we’re humble and ready for Him to use.
Everything is poo compared to knowing Christ Jesus.
Paul was telling the Philippians that if anyone had the right to be
confident in works it was him. He had been a Pharisee - a perfect Jew
who knew the law and followed it to the letter and He thought he had
God’s rewards sewn up…and then he met the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and
his past efforts became stench-filled excrement to his own senses.
Philippians 3:7-8 – KJV, “7 But what things were gain to me, those I
counted loss for Christ… I count all things but loss for the
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have
suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I
may win Christ, and be found in Him…”
In other versions of the Bible the word rubbish is used but I’m told
that what Paul wrote to the people of Philippi was stronger language
yet. He meant to call it poop, dung, manure, feces …ok, I’m sure you
get the point. All our other works and accomplishments might as well
be scraped off the bottom of our shoe in disgust; they are worse than
worthless they are a hindrance to our knowing Christ.
Not that we can’t be successful in many things such as work and sports
and music, and God can and will bless our efforts in all things if we
do them to His glory. But what we do thinking we have earned some
respect in the eyes of God or earned some position within the Kingdom
might as well be scrapped off the bottom of our shoe. It stinks in
the nostrils of God.
Philippians 3:9 “… I no longer count on my own righteousness through
obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.
For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10 I
want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him
from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11 so
that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!”
Would you set up on a street corner three feet from the gates of Hell
and share the gospel? Somehow, I think Paul would have. I’ve heard
Bible historians say Paul was not an easy person to like. Paul had a
level of passion that could not settle; his personal best was not good
enough. Only Christ mattered, and egos and doubters and people who
had earthly commitments were of little use to him.
One thing Paul had that is missing in the church of North America is
an understanding of his wretchedness before Christ. We who have our
needs met do sometimes see the magnitude of Christ’s sacrifice but
beyond that we tend to invite God to our party. We add Jesus to our
comfortable existence… we fail to get it.
The party is Christ’s and you’re invited but you must be willing to
scrape from your shoes the last of your personal efforts and
accomplishments. You may find God has been designing much of your
life already or He may count all you’ve done until now as dung and
rebuild you from the ground up. Either way, are you ready for the
righteousness of Christ to be yours?
Philippians 3:18 “For I have told you often before, and I say it
again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows
they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 They are headed for
destruction…But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ
lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. 21
He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious
bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring
everything under his control.”