I have been studying in Philippians and I came across a verse that I have read many times before, but this time a certain set of words stood out to me. Here is the passage in the letter written by Paul to the believers in Philippi:
Philippians 3:8 “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
There’s a lot in this statement, but here’s the part that stood out to me: “that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.”
Found in Christ.
What struck me about this, is that in this statement there’s an assumption of an outside observer. Paul doesn’t say, “that I may gain Christ and be in Him,” Pall says, “found in Him.”
This reminds me of when God comments to Satan about His servant Job’s righteousness and Satan’s response: Job 1:9 “So Satan answered the LORD and said, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.’”
Satan has already been observing Job, and he has found something out about Job.
Satan has found Job to be in God.
In 2 Samuel 22 David also talks about God stepping in on his behalf, and I can’t help but think this too is what it looks like to be found in Him. To have an enemy realize you are not alone here on planet earth, but rather He, the Creator of the Universe, stands with you.
2Sa 22:2-19 “And [David] said: ‘The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; the God of my strength, in whom I will trust….When the waves of death surrounded me, the floods of ungodliness made me afraid.… In my distress I called upon the LORD…. Then the earth shook and trembled….He bowed the heavens also, and came down.… From the brightness before Him coals of fire were kindled…. He sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning bolts, and He vanquished them….He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me; for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support….’”
It says in Psalm 46:1 (A Song for Alamoth) “…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Being in Christ doesn’t always look like an instant victory, but as with both Job and David, God did indeed in time proved Himself faithful.
When Satan comes looking at your life, are you found in Christ? Because in Christ, we bear witness of God’s power and might to not just the spiritual forces but also to the whole world. (Danial 5:13-14)