Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are mature, have this attitude; and if anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Philippians 3:12-16
Today's thoughts from today's verse:
Having the confidence that God has truly begun a program of change and restoration in our lives that he will totally complete in the end, gives us the fortitude in the present to persevere in our pursuit of living fully for him. Living fully for God means that we seek to cooperate completely with him in his good work of crafting us moment by moment into godly instruments that he can use significantly for the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The challenge of consistently giving ourselves to the things of God that contribute to our advancement as followers of Christ and not giving ourselves to the things of the world that play havoc with our advancement as followers of Christ is what perseverance is all about.
To keep going, no matter what, down the road of following Christ is to be in step with God’s great expectations for our lives. This is the stuff of true perseverance and is very much in keeping with the Apostle Paul’s good words in today’s Scripture. Note some of the things that helped the Apostle Paul to persevere: “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus;” “forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus;” “let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
Perseverance takes us consistently forward and guards us from going backwards. Perseverance is living out a commitment to God that says, “your will, Lord, and not mine” with each step we take on the path of living fully for him. Perseverance requires that we live in the present with our full attention on the step we need to take now. We know the step we take will be a step in following Christ because we know he is right there with us. We believe we can be in tune with him, rely on him, and draw strength from him for each step we take. It is not an easy path, but it is a good path and it is a rewarding path.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I confess that I am way to soft. I can see that godly perseverance is not about gearing up and going at life with human grit and determination. Rather, there is a spiritual “toughness” that is needed. This is what I pray for today, Lord, in my life. I want to live fully for you with each step I take. I want to take godly steps that are pleasing to you and contribute to the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Grant me spiritual fortitude and perseverance in all that really counts. Amen!
Posted on Wed, June 29, 2016
by Alan Porter