Paul’s goal was to know and be like Christ, and to fulfill what God intended in his life. In today’s readings we read about how Paul continues pressing on towards his goal seemingly against all odds. He was stoned, beaten, jailed, shipwrecked, bitten by a poisonous snake, and faced death and extreme hardship many times. On the surface it appeared that he was constrained by his circumstances. How can he continue to bypass every obstacle and still achieve his mission?
“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
Paul says here that he presses on. And after all that he has been through, there is no doubt that he is a man on a mission. There is no doubt that he is committed. His purpose is clear, his focus is clear, and nothing is going to stop this guy. In his mind there is no such thing as “try”, there is only “do”. In him there is only relentless pursuit.
How can we have such a clear focus, such amazing resolve to succeed? Like Paul, we can learn to trust God more. We can lean less on our own power and understanding and more on the power of God in us. Only by the Will of God can we overcome anything and everything that tries to stop us.
We also need to learn to let go of the past, to quit looking back, and to look forward fixing out eyes on Jesus and the Word of God. Until we can move on from a wrong in our past, we can never really press forward and get where we want to be. Until we can truly let go of bad things that have happened, that junk is a weight this will hold us back. The quicker that we let go of that weight, the quicker that we can get to a better place where God wants us to be.
What from our past is holding us back? What weight do we need to let go of from our past so that we can press forward into a bright new future? This one thing we need to do as we fix our eyes on Jesus and trust in God and His power and strength. Only by God’s Will do we receive our inheritance according to his riches in glory.
I call you blessed!
Dear heavenly father, thank you for your Word today. We seek you first each and every day Lord. We trust in You and you alone. We trust in your power and your strength, your peace and your understanding. You created the heaven and the earth and everything in it, and we know that nothing is impossible for you. Help us to trust in you more so that we stop limiting ourselves and holding ourselves back from all that you intended. Let us fix our eyes on you and trust in you. Let us totally let go of our past that had been weighing us down, and move forward as we fix our eyes upon. We declare those burdens relieved, those chains broken, and freedom from our past as we press forward into the promises that God has for us according to His Will, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s full reading: 1 Kings 13,14; 2 Chronicles 12; Philippians 3
Scripture References From Today’s Reflection:
- “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.” – Hebrews 12:2
- “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
- “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’.” – Matthew 19:26
- “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31
- “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” – Psalm 2:3
- “For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor.” – Isaiah 9:4
- “Truly I am your servant, Lord; I serve you just as my mother did; you have freed me from my chains.” – Psalm 116:16
- “Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.” – Psalm 107:13-16
Image courtesy of: Ken_Mayer
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