Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me his own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward
I believe that it is good, even necessary, to take stock of where we are relative to where we desire to be. This introspective undertaking can be extraordinarily reward, or exceptionally depressing, depending upon where we place our focus. Unfortunately, this frequently becomes a depressing undertaking when we place too much focus on what we haven’t accomplished relative to where we desire to be, as opposed to focusing on how much progress we’ve actually made. I am of the mindset that sometimes we have pursued the wrong things and the Holy Spirit helps us to get back on track by causing within us what I will call a holy dissatisfaction.
Well, the Holy Spirit, through the Apostle Paul helps us to put things in the proper perspective. The first thing he reminds us of is that our primary goal must be to fulfill our destiny in Christ. Our destiny is to know God intimately so that His glory can be revealed in us and through us, not only in this age but for eternity!!! We get God!! God told Abraham not to fret, that He was Abraham’s “exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). We get God and all that he has; His Spirit, His love, His wisdom, His grace, His provision, and His goodness. We get God and His Kingdom. Hallelujah! This is what Jesus apprehended us for and this what the Apostle Paul, as should we, sought to apprehend; the living reality of this truth.
The only way to accomplish this, as our Scripture text reminds us, is to forget about the past, that is to say, don’t live in the past. It’s essential that we appreciate our past successes and learn from our mistakes, but don’t set up an altar there. KEEP MOVING FORWARD! God has so much more in store for each of us, but in order to apprehend it we must pursue Him with reckless abandon. Some will sell all to purchase the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46), some won’t. No matter what anyone else does you determine that from this moment forward you will apprehend that for which Christ has apprehended you. KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
Father, we’re overwhelmed by the way You love us and desire to be one with us. How can we help but love you? Forgive our apathy and our aloofness regarding Your invitation into a deeper place of intimacy with You. By the power and operation of Your Spirit in our lives we ask that You restore to us our first love that we had for You. Help us not to dwell on the past but help us to be energized and motivated by the great plan You have for us; and help us to keep moving forward to gain the prize. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you and bless you. Until next time…..Peace.
McClinton E. Porter