Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pressing On





Scripture

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
(Philippians 3:13 NASB)
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 NASB)
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you;
(Philippians 3:15 NASB)
however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.
(Philippians 3:16 NASB)

Observation

Paul believed that day in and day out he, whether he was a prisoner or free he was to be pressing on toward the goal of his life. He always believed there was more for him as he was called upward in Christ Jesus. For him the spiritual journey was always a continuous upward climb because Jesus Christ was always before him. He even encouraged those who had been made complete (or perfect) to have the very same attitude. That is, Paul understood that the goal of the Christian life was to always have Christ before you, and for you always to be reach out and up toward Him; a life in which you continuously pressed on toward Him.

Application

Sometimes we fail to understand a very important point here. There has been a misunderstanding regarding perfection. You see that Paul uses this word here to refer to other followers of Christ. They had reached perfection, and yet, he encourages them to press on. That is because Paul understood that the perfection that one could attain here on earth was to fulfill the purpose for which you had been created -- that is, to be a child of God. Paul would say that he had been made perfect. Look what Christ had done for him on the Damascus road and now Paul was following and serving God every single day of his life. And yet -- Paul realized that his life was to be one of continual transformation as he kept his eyes fixed on God. The Cappadocians of the 4th century talked about our ever increasing participation in God. As we climb up higher in our spiritual journey we are becoming more and more like Him because we are ever more participating in Him. However, we must recognize that God is infinite, and therefore our ever increasing participation can and should go on forever. Paul had this figured out. He ever kept Christ before him as the example and continued to seek the face of God day in and day out, no matter his circumstances. He never gave up pressing on!

Prayer

Lord, may I never give up pressing on toward You. May You be revealed in my life on a daily basis. Amen.

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