“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers and sisters,
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 3:12-14 (NIV)
He appeared to be content with his Christian life and boasted that he was living the “victorious” life. No doubt many believers envied him as he described the state to which he had come on his journey toward heaven. However, Christians should be wary of those claiming to have “arrived” concerning the Christian’s pilgrimage. No one should feel they have arrived with regard to their status before God.
Of all people, the apostle Paul had reason to feel he had arrived concerning his Christian life. He wrote much of the New Testament, had possibly seen and certainly spoken to the risen Christ, he started numerous churches, and he had trained various outstanding preachers. So, if anyone had reason to brag it was Paul.
Our verses for today show that Paul clearly stated that he had a long way to go to become all that he needed to be as a follower of Christ. So, if such a spiritual giant confessed that he had room for improvement, we less productive believers need to press on also.
Do not be discouraged at your meager attainment as a believer. You are not all you should be but remember that you have made progress, you are better than you were.
In our hymn today we have a prayer to the Lord regarding how we may press on. If you know the tune for the hymn sing it to the Lord at least in your heart if not out loud.
O Master, let me walk with thee
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me thy secret, help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care.
Help me the slow of heart to move
By some clear, winning word of love;
Teach me the wayward feet to stay,
And guide them in the homeward way.
Teach me thy patience; still with thee
In closer, dearer company,
In work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
In trust that triumphs over wrong.
In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future’s broad’ning way,
In peace that only thou canst give,
With thee, O Master, let me live.
– W. Gladden