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     The Apostle Paul, at the time of writing this, had been saved for years & years. He was born again in approximately 35 AD., 2 years after Jesus death. He wrote this book of Philippians in about the year 64AD.

     He was born again on the road to Damascus & started seeking God immediately. They say that Paul set the 1st 14 years of his saved life to just seek God & to find out God's direction for his life. After he did that he went out to minister the Word of God.

     I. Paul had one of the most powerful ministries ever on the face of the Earth. (2nd to Jesus)

              A. There were miracles in Paul's ministry.

                        1. The sick were healed, the crippled were raised, the dead were raised.

              B. Revelation knowledge flowed through him.

                        1. About 2/3 of the NT was written by Paul.

              C. Paul was used in the area of VISIONS.

                        1. He had a vision of Jesus. In (2COR 12) he talks about the vision that he had of paradise.

                        2. There was an accuracy of the HS operating in his life. (Even in the things that he knew or perceived.)

              D. There were sings & wonders in his ministry; like the time that he was bit by a deadly snake & nothing happened to him.

              E. He cast out demons.

                        1. If you remember in (ACTS 16:17) when a woman followed Paul around saying “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.”

     “But when Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour”.

                                  a. With all thing things that took place in Paul's ministry, after spending all that time along with God, After spending all that time in ministry & establishing churches, after revealing things that we still read about today.

                                  b. What does Paul say in PHIL 3:10?

                        c.That I mat know Him.”

                                  i. The desire that Paul had after all this time was that he would know God.

                                  ii. That he would know God in a deeper way. That he might know Him more intimately, to have a close personal relationship with Him.

                                  iii. That He would know & understand God's ways.

     II. This desire that Paul had tells me something.

              A. You can see the same thing in all the men that did exploits for the kingdom of God.

                        1. That's exactly what the Word of God says, (Daniel 11:32) “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits].”

                        2. I firmly believe that this desire, to know God, has to be in a mans heart to be a success in the kingdom of God.

              B. There's all kinds of success & all kinds of ways to get success.

                        1. You can get worldly success & many do it.

                                  a. They get financial success or success in business, but there's always a cost with going at it the wrong way.

                        2. When we try to obtain success the wrong way, we get the wrong kind of success.

                                  a. With the world's success comes Headaches, Nerves, Ulcers, Divorce, Rebellious children & the list goes on.

                                  b. That all comes with success, unless your success comes from God.

              C. When you receive success from the Kingdom of God, you don't have to bow to divorce, you don't have to bow to the ulcers, nerves & heartaches.

                        1. You wont have to bow to rebellious children.

                        2. PRO 10:22

                                  a. Success that comes from any other avenue other than the kingdom brings a lot of heartaches. Sorrow comes with it.

                                  b. But when God blesses there is no sorrow with it.

     III. Back in (PHIL 3:10) The apostle Paul said, “That I may know Him.”

              A. He wanted to know everything he could know about Jesus.

                        1. He wanted to fellowship with Him on every level possible.

                                  a. We all should want to have this type of fellowship with God.

                                  b. It is our inner most desire to know God in this way.

                                           i. I want to know Him clearly, accurately, deeply, to have a close relationship with Him.

                        2. It's our desire to know Him this way, but we have the mind & the flesh to over come.

                                  a. Our spirits want to fellowship with the Lord, but our minds have to be renewed & our bodies have to be crucified, so that we'll enter into that fellowship.

                                  b. Now when I said that we need to have a close relationship with Him, I don't mean just related to Him.

                                           i. He is our Father, & we are related to Him in that respect, but that doesn't mean that we have a relationship with Him.

                                           ii. A relationship means fellowship.

              B. When we get to know God that well, we'll begin to know what God in going to do, how He will operate.

                        1. In many instances He'll become predictable.

                                  a. You'll know what He's going to do in certain situations.

                                  b. Sure there is the secret things that belong to the Lord.

                        2. But the closer you get to God, the more you'll know His ways. (example wife)

                                  a. The better you know Him, the more you'll know what He's going to do. (predictable)

                                  b. What do you think God will do if a sinner comes to receive Jesus as Lord?

                                           i. He'll save them every time.

                        3. The more you know God it's easier to have faith in Him.

                                  a. The better I know you, the better I'll know what you will do in different situations. ($100.00)

                                  b. The better you know God the easier it is to have faith in His because you'll know what He'll do.

     IV. Go back to PHIL 3:10-14

              A. Many people never reach the high calling in their life because they never press in on anything.

                        1. There is a high calling.

                                  a. 1 scripture reference to it as a Heavenly calling, another calls it a Holy calling.

                                  b. There is a High, Heavenly, Holy calling that God has for ever believer.

                                           i. Not just for the Apostles, Prophets,...

                        2. You have been called by God for a specific purpose. (change)

                                  a. There is something that God has given you to do.

                                  b. Look at PHIL 3:14

                                           i. We should press towards, press in, reach for the high calling of God.

              B. ROM 8:28

                        1. As we are reaching out to do what He called us to do, as we're pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling.

                                  a. Then all things will work together for good.

              C. There is 1 main calling for all of us.

                        1. ROM 8:28-29a

                        2. You are called to be conformed to the image of Jesus.

                                 a. When someone looks at you they should see Jesus.

                                  b. You're the only Jesus that many people will ever see.

                                           i. That's one reason that we have to know Him.

                                  c. (EPH 5:1) Says, “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;”

                                           i. The Greek says, “Be ye therefore IMITATORS of God as dear children.”

                                           ii. You are to be like Jesus, imitators of His character.

                                           iii. You have the ability to be changed into His image, so people can see who God really is.

                                  d. To be conformed into the image of God is our High calling & it is a Holy calling.

              C. Go back to PHIL 3:13

                        1. We need to be reaching for the things that are before us.

                                  a. What purpose do you have before you?

                                  b. What spiritual goals do you have before you?

                                  c. What spiritual desires do you have before you?

                                  d. What visions do you have to be more like Jesus?

                        2. Some would say “NOTHING.”

                                  a. If you don't have anything before you than you're not going anywhere.

                                  b. (Proverbs 29:18) Says, “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish:”

                                           i. You got to have spiritual goals before you.

                                           ii. (Better Christian)

                                           iii. To Vague. Be more specific. (I'm going to stop beating my wife.)

              D. Notice what he says in V 14a. “I press toward the MARK.” (explain Paul)

                        1. You've got to take one MARK at a time before you can reach the goal.

                                  a. Things like, Prayer (1 hour), Read (1 hour), Holy, Walk in the power of the spirit, Walk in faith, Lay hands on the sick, Witness, Give to the poor, Tithe & offerings, Ministry of helps, Walk in Love, Going to Church.

                        2. Just take 1 mark & press in toward it.

                                  a. Each mark you pass you become more & more like Jesus.

                                  b. As you continue to be comformed into the image of Jesus, as you continue to put on the character of Jesus you're reaching your High Calling.

                                           i. You're reflecting the light of Jesus.


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