“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
“I want to lose weight, spend more time with my family, read more…” The new year is here and so are our renewed interest in life changing resolutions. But if we are entirely honest, by this time many of us have already begun to deviate from our intended path of self-improvement much to our chagrin. The truth is many of us don’t reach our goals and sometimes this becomes such a source of discouragement that we decide to not even set them, to not event try.
You might be surprised that even students at Harvard have a hard time in achieving their goals. When they looked more closely at what seemed to separate those who achieved their goals and those that did not, one thing became apparent–those whose achieved their goals first wrote them down. The very act of writing something down seems to drag it from the realm of the imaginary into the real world; it makes it concrete.
Achievers also keep their goals in front of them at all times. Some folks keep them in their purse or wallet, hang them on a wall, or create a vision board. Their goals are easily accessible and they look at them everyday, sometimes several times throughout the day.
Lastly they know exactly why they are doing what they’re doing. Not only do they have a clear reason but it is an all consuming one. They have reached down and found a reason that is so important to them that the idea of not accomplishing that goal is simply not an option.
When we look at our verse we see these three elements contained in his letter to the people of Philippi. It is obvious that he wrote down his goal or else we would not be able to read it today. It was also something that he constantly kept before him. He is the one who penned the words “do all to the glory of God.” This constant keeping God before him acted as a governing mechanism determining his actions and reactions to life’s circumstances as they arose. But something that really stands out in this verse is that Paul had found a motivating factor that was all consuming, all encompassing, something that made the idea of not reaching his goal incomprehensible. If you listen carefully you can hear his unflinching determination, his undiluted focus, his complete resolute purpose to accomplish the goal he has entirely committed to. where did this come from? Paul had something crucial to his mindset it was a deep love for God based on and understanding of God’s deep love for him and the sacrifice that Jesus made for him, not just the world, for Paul it was personal. And at the end of his life he penned these words, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8a) Clearly he reached his goal.
What About You?
What is your goal? What is your motivation? Have you committed to being the person that God has called you to be? If so great! If not, why not? The only thing that matters in this life is reaching the goal that God wrote down for you in His Word. And we’re here to help.
On our website we have a resource page that has exciting materials to aid you in your journey to be all that God has called you to be. But you have to be committed. We can give you everything but the desire, the drive, the fire to be what you can be in Christ. This must come from a love for Him and a deep understanding of what He has done and is doing for you.
Our prayer for you this year is that you:
Forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus.
It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it!
-By: Pastor Gabe