But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. Philippians 3:7-8 (ESV)
Athletes have a phrase they often use to describe their intensity of play. It is “leave it all on the field.” The idea is to give it all you’ve got. All the conditioning, weight lifting and studying the playbook have brought you to game time. Preparation is over; it’s time to give 100% on every play the entire game. There is no holding back or saving it for later.
Most of us would not recognize the apostle Paul as an athlete, but in the game of life he was one on those who left it all on the field. He chose to abandon popularity, position and power to gain an eternal prize. He wrote to Timothy, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV)
The American Heritage Dictionary renders this meaning for the word abandon: 1.To forsake; desert. 2. To surrender one’s claim or right to; to give up. 3. To desist from. 4. To yield (oneself) completely, as to emotion.
What better word could describe the life of Paul? What better word could describe a person whose one desire is to live a life of worship? Paul said Philippians 3:8 that he counted all his gain as rubbish that he might gain Christ. His one desire was to have intimate fellowship with Christ.
A life of worship has deserted all other ways of living to have an intimate relationship with Jesus (Luke 14:33). It has forsaken all that is familiar to walk by faith. It has surrendered all rights to have its own way and has yielded control to the one who formed it (Romans 12:1).
Once we have abandoned (past tense verb) our old way of life we are called to abandoned (adjective) worship. What is abandoned worship? When abandoned is used as an adjective it means shameless; thus we have shameless worship.
God is calling us, his bride, to a life of abandonment; to set aside all inhibitions we have about the way we live and respond to his love. God is calling for abandonment when we get up every morning and go about our daily lives (Luke 9:23). He is calling for abandonment every time we gather with believers to worship him. No more “playing it safe.” It’s time to be reckless with our lives and with our worship. It’s time for the bride of Christ to leave it all on the field.
Have you made a commitment to live a life of abandoned worship? Have you “left it all out on the field”?
Scriptures for meditation:
2 Samuel 6:14-16
1 Corinthians 9:25-27