“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
More About Philippians 3:12-16
Written by Bronwyn Cardwell (First 5 Ministries)
Paul said, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” (Philippians 3:13; emphasis added). Paul’s life before he knew Christ wasn’t easy to forget; he persecuted followers of Jesus, even unto death.
The verbs forgetting and straining are present-tense verbs in Greek; this means they are continuous, ongoing actions. In other words, Paul had to keep forgetting and keep straining forward, moment by moment. It was not a one-time effort. The enemy desires to discourage and defeat us by reminding us of our failures; however, he also uses the tactic of reminding us of our accomplishments to make us proud and self-sufficient. Paul had learned the secret of entrusting his past to Jesus and focusing on the prize that awaited him.
In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, we hear Paul’s heart as he likely wrote his last words: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” My friends, this prize awaits all of us who finish in faith. Run faithfully today!
Prayer: Dearest Jesus, today I choose to fix my eyes on You and faithfully run the race to which You have called me. I cannot do this in my own strength. I trust in Your promises to not only be WITH me, but also IN me… giving me strength and wisdom for every step. You are my source of courage and encouragement; You are my source of perseverance and endurance; You are my source of hope and eternal life. Let my life produce a yearning in the lives of others to press on with endurance and finish well. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Journal Prompt: How does knowing that the prize awaits you give you hope and endurance to “press on” today?