Philippians 3:13, NIV
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”
Do we live in the present or the past? Let’s not look back to how things were in the past. How futile that can sometimes be! The Apostle Paul said ‘But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ’ (Philippians 3:7).
We may have given up our past lives and entered into a new life, but what about our past experiences with God? They will need to be brought into the present, and we need to see them as stepping stones to where we are today. It’s not what happened back then, it’s what is happening NOW that’s important. There is, of course, a certain value in looking back to see God’s faithfulness, and to be reminded that He still does save, heal and deliver today. But if we do look to the past let’s learn from it. We don’t go forward by looking backwards.
Paul was striving and reaching out. He was doing his best for the glory of the Lord. As we take a look today at where we are before the Lord, how would you describe your Christian life? Is it pleasing to the Lord? Or is there still something lacking? Are there still things that need to be dealt with? Is the Lord pleased or grieved when He looks at us? God offers a way through by His grace to make it right. We’re here to be participants in a holy calling. This life is a race. Sometimes we streak ahead and sometimes we get left behind. God’s desire is that we grow in holiness until we resemble Christ.
Life can become a bit of struggle, and then we need to hang on in there. But our future is shining bright and will be eternal. One day we’ll be in our heavenly home but today, as we consider these truths, where do we find ourselves? Are we living for the Lord and the future or are we stuck somewhere in past? Are we on track? Are we listening to God and hearing His voice?
Paul says ‘I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like Him in His death’ (Philippians 3:10). We can be confident in this that the One who began a good work in us ‘will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 1:6). We live in very urgent and exciting days so let’s forget what is behind and reach towards the goal.
Prayer: Lord, help us to desire You more and more and to be found in You. Give me confidence today that You will continue what You have begun in my life, in Jesus’ name, Amen.