As mentioned previously, I would share what God has revealed to me in the book of Philippians. I started to have my Quiet Time in this book as I wanted to grow according to Phil 2:3-4, ‘Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.’ It took me too long a time to realise how self-centred I am, and hence the desire now to change and grow according to these two verses. Initially, when I read these verses, I wondered how exactly could one consider others better than him/herself? How should one consider others’ interests? It seemed so unnatural to the sinful man to do so. But the verses following offered the explanation to these questions…
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross!
Who is Jesus Christ? He is the Incarnate God, who though is God, allowed Himself to be found in the nature of a human. Some people said that ‘heaven was emptied’ when God became man. But when I was meditating on these verses, the Holy Spirit taught me that it wasn’t heaven that was emptied – Christ was. ‘[He] made Himself nothing’ (verse 7a). He is the Creator God, from whom all things had their beginning. He is everything. Yet, He became nothing when He became a man. From everything to nothing – Christ emptied Himself. Verse 6b says, ‘[He] did not consider equality with God something to be grasped’. Christ did not hold on to His rights and privileges as God. He was the all-powerful and all-present God, yet when taking on the form of man, He limited himself to a finite body, no longer able to be everywhere, anytime. He knew hunger, thirst and pain.
Verse 5 says that my attitude should be that of Christ Jesus. I guess I have held too tightly to what I call as my rights, yet Christ gave His up. I have wanted the self to live when Christ emptied Himself. And His obedience was not a token, bit-by-bit giving; His obedience brought Him to the Cross. Should I still give a token obedience? Could I?