Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:12-14 ESV
I have not yet made it to my final destination, nor do I trust my heart to not be deceitful with its trickery that has kept my eyes veiled from the truth in the past and living in error and contrary to the will of God. You see, I do not trust myself. But I have full confidence in the promises of Christ Jesus.
It does not do me much good to look back over my past, because like Paul, I count it all as loss. I hope that each day I am either finding something new in my flesh that needs to be cut out, cast away, healed, and replaced by the Holy Spirit – or that I am finding something new and glorious and wonderful to ponder upon and put into loving and faithful action as a part of my life. And to tell you the truth, the both are one and the same. This is pressing on. This is seeing the race to its finish. This is participating in the Kingdom of God as we walk with Him, talk with Him, but most importantly as we listen for His guidance.
We want an easy set of rules. Even those of us who think ourselves not wicked want an easy set of rules to follow like a checklist, so we might know our standing with God and measure ourselves and call ourselves righteous. But how few instead want to stay in communion with God? How many run from the brilliance of His glory ashamed at our own state compared to His?
But little children, do not be, afraid. You are His. He calls you His own special creation, set aside to bring Him honor and glory. Take your eyes of of yourself and set them upon Him and be in awe and amazement and wonder. Do not be like that example of unfaithfulness who fell from God’s grace because He set His eyes on Himself and the idea of lifting himself up in glory. You are not asked to seek glory for yourself or expected to measure up to the glory of God. He bids you only to come to Him and let His light shine through you.
Press on in a life following His example.
Press in for His guidance and touch upon your life.
Do not think yourself holy or righteous of your own account – but know that His righteousness is available to you. Examine yourselves and find those areas where the enemy might still lay claim to any territory in your life. Seek your guidance and strength in the Word of God to see that temptation bound, to see that filth cut out and swept from this temple for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit, to know that it will be cast down into the eyeball pit to not return, and to sing praises to God for the victory for it is when He inhabits our praise that we are filled and made while again so that there is no room left open for the enemy to restore their chains or reclaim that territory.
This is the race that we run to its completion. This is the ministry of reconciliation to Christ. It is a moment by moment, day by day, decision to see our lives filled with victory in the Spirit of Christ who lives in us, and not diseased in defeat to the temptations and passions of the flesh. This is seeking God’s advice, guidance, strength, mercy, and yes – even His glory – not to claim it as our own, but to marvel in it and tell others of His mighty works in our lives.
What mighty work is God going to do in your life today, friend? How much praise are we going to get to give Him today? Isn’t it amazing that we have a whole life ahead of us, knowing that He has even greater things ahead in store for us? We just need to remain faithful to the end. One step at a time. Be faithful in the small things, in this decision at hand, walk it out WITH GOD and not on your own – and get used to repeating that – and you’re on your way home on the narrow path, friend.
I love you. Stay the course. See you when we get home, brothers and sisters. It’s not that far now, just over that hill, just past the trials, and the destination is well worth the travel, especially when we consider our traveling companion. Talk with Him, walk with Him.