October 12

Philippians 3:12-14 12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, 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, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Paul had just declared that his one desire was to know Christ, the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. Then he tells us that he is not there yet. This man had been a missionary to much of Asia Minor, suffered in beatings and shipwrecks, stoned and left for dead, chased out of town after town, and started many churches, yet he said he had not attained it yet! So much for those who claim to have reached perfection! That is what heaven is for. This life is a continual process of moving in that direction, but the destination will be reached only when we are in His presence (1 John 3:2).

Paul declares that he presses forward to grasp that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him. Jesus took hold of him to put His own character in him by an increasing revelation of Himself to Paul. Paul continually pushed in that direction in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. He told us that he did that by forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead. You can picture the prize just out of reach, or the runner who sees the finish tape. Giving it your all is the only thing that matters. Your entire focus is fixed on the goal.

The prize at the end of the race is knowing Christ. We now know but a drop in an ocean. We see but a reflection through distorted glass (1 Corinthians 13:12). Then we will see face to face. If we don't have this longing to know Christ in all His fullness, we are missing a key ingredient and motivation for pressing on in the Lord. He is more beautiful than you can possibly imagine. His love is more excellent than can be told. Is this the Christ you serve, or have you settled for duty? Do you run because you should, or because you are in love? Are you running to Him, or to some other goal that doesn't come close to comparing? He is the prize that is worth giving up all else for.

Admonition: Run to Him, Christian! Reach for the prize.