Brief Encounter or Long Marriage?

Stan Mast

READ : Genesis 2:18-24

That is why a man . . . is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (v. 24 NIV)

I knew two presidents—Nixon and Clinton. I don’t just mean that I knew about them, I actually knew them because I met them personally. I met Richard Nixon when the seminary choir sang at the White House on Mother’s Day. And I met Bill Clinton at a huge banquet in Philadelphia. OK, I admit that my presidential encounters amounted to a hand shake and 10 words. I didn’t know either president nearly as well as I know my wife.

That’s exactly what Paul is talking about in Philippians 3:10—the difference between a brief encounter and a long marriage, a casual acquaintance and an intimate partner, a handshake and becoming one flesh. A modern word captures what Paul is talking about—“interactive.” Paul was passionate about interacting with Christ on a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment basis. “I want to know Christ” so well that I live in constant union with him.

That’s what the Christian faith is about, after all—not just being forgiven, adopted into the family of God, having a place in heaven, but enjoying union with God in Christ all the time. That’s what God intended way back in the garden. The more we know Christ, the more we will actually experience forgiveness, acceptance, love, and the joy and peace of being in heaven before we ever get there. When we know Christ intimately, we can be part of paradise regained.


Lord Jesus, fill me with a passion to know you intimately.