These words were from the pen and heart of the Apostle Paul. As I meditate upon them in faith in the presence of Christ, my own heart also breathes out, "Oh, that I might know Him." It may seem strange that such words should be written by the Apostle Paul who: (1) When journeying to Damascus to persecute and imprison the saints had been arrested by the Lord, who spake to him from heaven and drew him to Himself in true heart repentance (Acts 9). (2) was caught up into Paradise and heard unspeakable words (2 Cor. 12:4). (3) was many times in bonds for Christ (Phil. 1:13). (4) could say, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21). (5) counted the things which were gain to him naturally as loss for Christ (Phil. 3:7, 8). (6) declared, "For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day (2 Tim. 1:12). Surely none knew the Lord Jesus Christ like the Apostle Paul! It was because He knew Him and loved Him with deep devotion, that he desired to know Him fully, even to conformity to His death. We may well ask, Who is this person whom the Apostle desired to know?
In the past eternity He was with the Father "Daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him" (Prov. 8:30), whilst by Him all things were created (Col. 1:16). (We do well to remember this and to be in the good of it at present, when kingdoms which appeared stable are oppressed by another power!) In the fulness of time He had come forth from the Father into the world (John 16:28) and, whilst in it, so delighted the heart of the Father that He declared from heaven concerning Him, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye Him" (Matt. 17:5). In John 10:17,we read the Lord's words, "Therefore doth my Father love Me, because I lay down my life that I might take it again." Of His own volition He went to the Cross in our stead, "His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree" (1 Peter 2:24). Before He bowed His head and gave up the ghost, He said, "It is finished" (John 19:30).
Now our precious Saviour is alive for ever more, and He has entered into heaven itself, having obtained eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12). He now appears in the presence of God for us (Heb. 9:24). Soon He will come and take us to heaven to be with Himself and like Himself for ever (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). What a wonderful Saviour He is, how deeply we should love Him and desire to know Him more! If we are willing, He will draw us to Himself, into a sphere which is abiding where all is of God. There we learn Himself in the preciousness of His love, there we long to dwell for ever with the Lord. If we are there already in spirit there will be the corresponding answer whilst we are left here. There will be flow of worship to the Father, acceptable through Christ Jesus our Lord; there will be love one toward another as those who are members of His assembly; also there will be ministry of Christ amongst us followed by the telling forth of the glad tidings in the power of the Holy Spirit. May the true language of each of our hearts be THAT I MAY KNOW HIM!