Philippians 3:14 – I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Yesterday, last week, last month and last year is gone. It is time to move forward. It is time to press toward the goal to win the prize which God has already given to us. It is time to forget the past and move forward in the future with God. In other words, it is time to keep it moving!
We need to lift up our eyes to God in Heaven and let Him show us what He has planned for our lives.
God, through the Apostle Paul is calling us to let go of the past. Let’ listen to what Paul said concerning his past. Philippians 3:13 – Brothers, I, for my part, do not think of myself as having yet gotten hold of it; but one thing I do: forgetting what is behind me and reaching forward toward what lies ahead.
God wants us to live in faith and expectation of future things. Let go of past failures, hurts, mistakes and shame. WHY? These things hold you captive to you past. Face them head on and keep it moving. Looking back is not an option for you as a beleiver!
Scripture declares in Psalm 37:23 “Steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholds him with his hand”.
Paul says we are to reach for those things which are before us. We only do that by refocusing our thinking on God’s word, which in return refocus our vision to God’s vision for our lives.
As people of God, we are to advance the kingdom. How do we do that? By our example of continual pressing toward the mark the for prize of the most high caling of God in Christ Jesus. We are Christ example in the earth!
Reaching to those things that are before us is advancing and always moving.
REACH=To stretch, to extend yourself. Stretch your faith!
PRESS= To pursue, run swiftly in order to obtain a prize. Stay in the Christian Race. Keep it moving!
Spiritual growth can only be obtained in the stretch beyond what is our comfort zone.
There is a Prize to be Won! We are exhorted to run the race in 1 corinthians 9:24 – Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Hebrews 12:1-3 -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 perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
One thing all runners in a race is told and that is to never look back! Why? it slows you down, it clouds your vision. As Christians, we CAN NOT afford to live our lives looking in the rear view mirror. Why? Looking back will cause us to loose sight of the finish line.
In the midst of a chaotic world, trouble on every hand, Paul reminds us that there is a higher calling than what we see with our natural eyes. There is a prize to be won! Victory in Christ Jesus. We can only grasp the vision of it if our eyes are on Christ Jesus.
The sad truth today is that many Christians are not running well. They are being distracted by so many things. If you have allowed yourself to become distracted and have taken your eyes off the prize, Paul has a word for you on this morning. Let’s listen to Galatians 5:7, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? They are content with where they have been, comfortable where they are and satisfied with self being there. With this mind set not only will you loose the race, but you won’t win the prize.
Perhaps you are reading this blog and think that you may me too old or it is too late for you to start the race. No, it is never to late as long as you have breath in your body. If you look throughout the bible, you will see where many of the runners started out at a very late age. One example is Moses, who was 80 years old when God called him to enter the race. I was called to run this Christian race in April 1998 at the age of 40 years old.
We must keep pressing forward. Why? Looking back is not an option for the believer.
Remember Lot’s wife? she looked back and turned to a pillar of salt.
Can we honestly say that we are putting forth every effort to reach the goal? Remember, there is a prize to be won. Will you win? It is up to you! With God on our side, we can make it. Philippians 4:13-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
When we have finished our course, when we have fought the good fight of faith and our race has been won, we too will declare these faith filled words that Apostle Paul declares at the end of his race. Let’s lsiten to 2 Timothy 4:7-8 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
REMEMBER: Keep pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. There is a prize to be won. Keep it moving forward becasue looking back is not an option for you.
God bless and do tell the Lord thank you for giving you the patience to stay in the race and the strength to be able to run it.
I love you all with the love of Christ.