The other day, I read a bumper sticker that quoted Einstein: “imagination is more important than knowledge.” That might ring true to the naturalist who thinks the universe is a grand adventure of human discovery. But how ridiculous a statement to place human creativity above divine propositional truth! Knowing Christ is surpassingly greater than everything the universe offers. Notice I didn’t say “anything,” but “everything the universe offers.”
The apostle Paul clarifies it: “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 in order that I may gain Christ (Phil. 3:8). He had only one ambition – to be with Christ in glory (Phil. 3:13-14). That’s it. Everything else served to expedite that one goal. We see the same attitude in David, the man after God’s own heart: “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple” (Ps. 27:4).
So we ask ourselves, “isn’t it dangerous to oversimplify life to a single ambition? Human existence is quite complicated after all.” But isn’t it the very complications of living that keep us from the real joy for which God has created us? When Martha was busy with preparations for Jesus’ visit, our Lord gently rebukes her: “Martha, Martha you are worried and bothered by so many things” (Lk. 10:41). Apparently, it’s possible to be standing in the very presence of God, and yet be distracted by the mundane responsibilities of life. Anxiety and stress arise from the “many things” of normal living and its responsibilities.
Our Lord’s solution: “but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Lk. 10:42). What Mary chose was to worship Jesus Christ by sitting in adoration and eventually anointing his feet with perfume. It’s the simplification of life that makes our joy complete. To worship Jesus Christ is the final joy and satisfaction of the human soul. No matter how bad or how good life gets, there are too many things that worry and bother our hearts. Take a moment to truly worship the Lord. Then try David’s test in Ps. 34 “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”
Imagination is provocative for a while, but the knowledge of Jesus Christ is a tasty-joy that lasts for all eternity.
To learn more, pick up a copy of the Sunday sermons from January 9th and 16th on Philippians 3:10-16. Talk to Danny Park.