Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The Apostle Paul tells us the recipe for success. First, “reaching forward to those things ahead”. Many times you see this illustrated as a runner whose hand is stretched out way in front of their body for the finish line. But, it also brings to mind the passionate and purposeful pilgrimage with the eternal perspective of glorification in heaven with the Lord. I read about how important this is! He is explaining to us in a “word picture” that we need that eager aspiration, that enthusiasm that comes with God within us, causing us to reach out after greater things in life. Not just on Sunday, but a 24/7/365 highly motivated and eager heart for the things of God that drives us in our jobs, our relationships, our devotions, in our prayers, in our worship and in our service for Christ.
1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”
Secondly, the Apostle says: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” In addition to that eagerness of spirit, there needs to be great exertion expended to reach the goal, the mark of the high calling of God. The words “press to the mark” in this passage means to Pursue, to go after something with intense gusto of Christian living. We need to clearly define what that goal is and we need to forget about all of our failures. The prodigal son fell into the pigpen, but did not stay in the pig pen, so when we fall, we get back up and press on. We need to apply exertion, pressing toward the goal, constantly looking towards the mark before us. Then each day brings us closer to the prize.
In Christ, Brian