Aug14FriAugust 14, 2020
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Often you will see this verse in a picture with a person running, or finishing a race. It’s a great inspirational verse. The verse speaks to our goal as believers. How the Christian life is to be lived in a way that become more and more like the image of Jesus Christ. Paul knew like we do, that his working towards this goal would be completed when he stands in the presence of Jesus. His risen Lord.
Ever since his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul started to work towards the high calling of God. Paul recognized his own sin. He knew the answer was Jesus Christ alone, and here he assures us believers of that same truth.
Paul himself looked to Christ alone and pursued Christlikeness with a passion, with fervour. His ambition in life was to fulfil the purpose for which Christ had saved him. Paul's desire is for us, his readers, to pursue in the same manner the purpose for which Christ saved us.
Paul definitely grew in his Christian maturity in life, and he strived after what Christ had purposed for him, he had many spiritual mountains to climb, obstacles to overcome, and enemies to face.
For us today, the task of growing in grace is an ongoing journey, but like Paul we need to press on for the upward call of the Lord. So that in Him we can prepare ourselves for all that God has prepared for us to do for His glory. The Word of God is the most valuable piece of equipment in our possession for this task, as it tells us how to live a Christ like life and how to deal with the difficulties and dangers that will come our way.
Until we are bodily with our Lord, none of us can say that we have done all that God wants us to do in our lives. We each have a unique role to play in Gods grand adventure that he has for us.
Pressing towards the goal of our calling is what we as Christians should be doing in life, daily. It is to be our goal in life, to finish the race that is set before us. How do we strive to finish the race and hold true to what Christ asks of us?
1. God’s Word - “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up to salvation." 1 Peter 2:2 (ESV)
2. Pray - Pray for your own maturity in Christ and pray for others as well.
3. Follow godly examples - Paul told the Corinthians to be imitators of him (1 Cor.4:16). And Remember God uses trials to mold us into the person He wants us to be. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5:10)
May we, like Paul, forget what’s behind, our past sin and failures and even at times past achievements. May we press on to finish the race well for the glory of our Lord and Savior, who has redeemed us completely!