7 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

In the book The Great Divorce, one of C. S. Lewis’s characters wisely points out, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’” [1] These two people groups are separated by an eternal judgment from God. In Philippians 3, Paul described how he transitioned from the latter group to the former. This change took place as Paul recognized the surpassing greatness of Christ.

If you read the first six verses of Philippians 3, Paul listed out his resumé—his record of impressive accomplishments in Jewish life. He believed that he had done all the law required. Yet on a road traveling to Damascus, he realized that in pursuing his righteousness, he had missed the complete righteousness that comes from Christ. He was living for a righteousness that was only valuable in this life. He did not have an endgame in mind.

All at once Paul needed to change. Jesus showed him he was not righteous; he was a sinner in need of the grace of Jesus. Once this happened, Paul embraced the endgame with an unmatched fervor. He saw that his accomplishments were “rubbish” in light of eternity. Paul saw the truth that in light of the supremacy of Christ, all of his accolades were worth nothing.

Paul is a person who we might have looked at, pre-conversion, and thought, “He will never change. He is too set in his ways.” But God changed him, and God can change you, too. To live with eternity in mind, we cannot simply muster our own strength; we must take hold of God’s.

• When was your Damascus road moment? If you’ve never had one, could that day be today?

• Is there anything in your life that you are pursuing to build yourself up instead of Christ’s kingdom?

• Pray for Christ to reveal Himself all the more to you. Pray that, like Paul, you will rest in God’s righteousness, seek to know Christ and share in His sufferings, and live for the hope of the resurrection this week.

[1] Lewis, C. S. The Great Divorce. London: Collins, 2012.