Paul was completely captivated by his Lord, and yet he wrote, “What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8, NKJV, emphasis added).

Why would he feel the need to “win” Christ? Christ already had revealed himself clearly and not just to the apostle but in his life. Even so, Paul felt compelled to win Christ’s heart and affection. Paul’s entire being — his ministry, life and very purpose for living — was focused only on pleasing his master and Lord. All else was rubbish to him, even “good” things.

Is this scriptural, you may ask, this idea of winning the heart of Jesus? Aren’t we already the objects of God’s love? Indeed, his benevolent love extends to all mankind, but there is another kind of love that few Christians ever experience. It is an affectionate love with Christ such as occurs between a husband and wife.

This love is expressed in the Song of Solomon. In that book Solomon is portrayed as a type of Christ, and in one passage the Lord speaks of his bride this way: “You have ravished my heart…my spouse; you have ravished my heart with one look of your eyes, with one link of your necklace. How fair is your love…my spouse! How much better than wine is your love” (Song of Solomon 4:9-10, NKJV).

The bride of Christ consists of a holy people who long to be so pleasing to their Lord, and who live so obediently and so separated from all other things, that Christ’s heart will be ravished. The word ravish in this passage means to “unheart” or to “steal my heart.”

The Bible version of the above passage says that Christ’s heart is ravished with just “one look” or a singular gaze. I believe that this shows a singleness of a mind focused on Christ alone. This is the life we are called to pursue!