Scripture Reading: Philippians 3:12-15
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:13,14)
Paul had a clear focus of the purpose of his life. It was his “one thing” to do. His purpose was to pursue his Savior with all his heart. He wanted to know Christ and the power of His resurrection (v. 10). Paul had singleness of purpose — he lived his life in pursuit of Jesus.
In order to do this, he knew that he had to let go of the past — “forgetting what lies behind.” He had to let go of his past failures and disappointments. He had to let go of the guilt he had over his sins. And he had to let go of past successes and achievements. He knew he could not glory in his past accomplishments or wallow in his past failures.
Instead, Paul looked to the future — “straining forward to what lies ahead.” He was determined to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” He wanted to finish well here on earth by serving Jesus faithfully to the end.
As I am getting older, I better understand what Paul was saying. It is easy to live in the past — to remember my past achievements and successes. It is also painful to remember my failures and disappointments. I have to forget them and press on toward God’s call for me now and in the future. I want to finish well. I want to hear my Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25:21).
Lord Jesus, forgive me when I glory in my past achievements. Enable me to let go of them and also of my past failures. Grant me grace to forget what lies behind and to strain forward to what lies ahead. I don’t know what You have for me in the future; but I know this one thing: I want to pursue You with all my heart and soul. I want to finish well.
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