August 6, 2021
- By Ed Powell
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"Brothers, 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." Philippians 3:13-14
There is no short cut to spiritual maturity. This comes through our dedication to study the Scriptures,apply its truth and principles to the whole of our life, seek God in prayer at the throne of grace, and be receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit to reveal, teach, and draw us to God. This is imperative if we are to grow in grace and knowledge of God's Word, and embrace the virtues of Christ that He seeks to adorn our life with.
Paul realized this more than any other. So committed was he to excel among men, gain favor by the ruling authorities, to be head and shoulders above his contemporaries, that before he met God, he sought to persecute Christians and curtail their following Jesus.
His encounter with God on the road to Damascus transformed his life. He now exerts the same determination, enthusiasm, and perseverance to "press toward the goal to win the prize for which God called him" (Philippians 3:15). His whole perspective in life has changed. The love of God now constrains him to follow Christ without any impediments to hinder his quest to be all Christ wants him to be. There is a redirection of his priorities, purpose for living, and commitment of his goal.
Paul was determined to forget what was behind and was mindful only of exerting all his energy, and pursuing with purpose and perseverance, the goal of knowing Christ and being found in Him.
"THIS ONE THING I DO"...This was his consuming passion. Nothing else was deemed worthy of one moment's attention. Nothing could, in his apprehension, be lost if that prize was to be gained: nor anything gained, if that prize was lost. It was the consuming motivation and devotion of his life. Paul had his heart "fixed" on God...His purpose...His plan...His will. The present course of his life--with whatever misfortune, disgrace, suffering, or misery--could not be compared to the eternal weight of glory that awaited him as being approved by God.
Paul acknowledges that he hasn't "arrived." I haven't been made perfect, I haven't gained all there is in Christ..."BUT THIS ONE THING I DO, I press toward the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Paul said at the end of his spiritual journey, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
As a Christian, you are on a spiritual journey until God calls you home. Let me ask you: Have you laid aside the hindrances that encumber you from your quest for God? Many have started out well, but have fallen by the wayside discouraged, defeated, the victims of looking within and without, rather than "fixing" their eyes steadfastly on Jesus. He is the source of our strength, the joy of our hearts, and the sufficiency for our every need.
Paul challenges each one, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with patience the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2). I trust this may be the commitment of each one of us as we say with Paul, "THIS ONE THING I DO...I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?row=&date=2021-08-06
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