Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Reaching forward

Phil 3:12-14  "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

History is a wonderful account of God's story, His working out His plan in time and space.  Without contradicting the beauty and glory and wonder and necessity of history, it is sometimes a part of reaching forward to forget those things which are behind.  How many of you have heard of the three steps forward, two steps back cycle?  Even though there are setbacks, the overall trend is still one of progress.  But what about the two steps forward, three steps back cycle?  That sounds more like failure than progress and in some arenas of my life, I'm familiar with this. 

About 5 months ago as I meditated on this verse, I thought about how Christ did not lay hold of me so that I can stay in failure cycles...He's my victorious Savior leading me into victory, setting me free where I've been captive, etc.  I started thinking about how in order to press forward, I needed to forget some things or put them behind me (not let them drag me down again).  This has affected areas as dorky as weight loss to matters much more important like relationships. 

How many of us have been hurt in a relationship and allowed bitterness or anger or distrust to skew our vision to the point that anything that person does is eyed by us with suspicion?  Are we forgiving and putting things behind us, pressing forward to greater unity and joy in our relationships?  God makes it clear that He wants us to experience the sweet joy of fellowship and the glory of working together as His body.  The Devil is the one that wants us to stay bitter and angry and to build walls that feel impenetrable.  Who are we going to listen to?  We really ought to repent if we're the offender and forgive if we're the injured...we should give each other the freedom and encouragement to grow and to press forward, to lay hold of Christ.  The Apostle Paul assures us that he was not yet perfected and neither are we...we will sin yet and will be sinned against, but let's deal with it lovingly and quickly and move on.  Paul was serious about pressing forward -- the goal was and still is the prize of the upward call of Christ.  With the joy of the Lord as my strength, I'm serious too.  How about you?

1 comment:

  1. Amen Connie!! Beautifully put! Such freedom in Christ! By the way, I noticed the starfish and sand dollar... Me thinks it looks like you are getting ready to visit Florida ;)