I have not shared any thoughts for a few weeks. It is not because I have not had anything rolling around inside. It has just not seemed to solidify into something translatable and substantial.
For weeks I have not been able to get the scripture Philippian 3:13&14 out of my mind. “13 Brothers, 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
The specific phases “But one thing I do…” and “I press toward the goal” have rolled around stirring in my spirit questions, desires and inspirations.
What does it mean “One thing I do”? I know I have family, work, church and even beyond that friends, recreation and interest. So how do I narrow thoughts down to one thing? So here is where I am so far on one thing. My relationship with Jesus is my highest and most important part of my life and that relationship with Him influences, guides and centers marriage, work, church, friends, recreation and interest. So the “One thing I do” in my spiritual life affects every area of my life. It does not mean we are so narrow as to have no other interest but “one thing I do” brings everything into alignment with my highest interest.
“Pressing On” is preceded and given incredible freedom and power by the statement “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead”. I love this because so many of us find ourselves in a place we did not anticipate, with regrets, questions of Gods plan and quite frankly needing to refocus. But I can remember times in my life that I felt quite the opposite. I was right where God had called me. Things were going as I had expected they would. It felt as if I had a lot of victories and any challenges I faced had been overcome with faith. When we are in the middle of a season of life that seems spot on and filled with victories it is equally important to take time to refocus, set goals and “Press On”. What incredible encouragement it can be to forget what is in the past and press on toward the goal. What great wisdom it can be to not live in yesterday’s victories or blessings. Today is a fresh with its own challenges and opportunities.
One thing is for sure and that is if you walk with Jesus long enough you will experience both and everything in between just like the Apostle Paul. So I am thinking that if Jesus had mountain top, positive experiences and He had times and prayers of desperation then so will I. If Jesus had people abandon Him and those who stayed in committed relationship with Him then so will I. In fact it is a good thing to feel what Jesus felt when he wept over a city of lost people. It is a good thing to stand at the grave of a friend and like Jesus stood at the Lazarus’ grave weeping. It is a good thing to pray with a friend or a family member and see those prayers answered. Seeing Jesus in every experience both good and bad leads us to what Paul considers as the goal.
In Philippians 3:8 Paul says, “I consider all things a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” And continuing in vs 10 he says, “I want to know Christ”. All of our victories, failures, blessings and heart aches can lead us to know Jesus. I know Jesus and I want to know him more. The truth is while I love the incredible deep passion of these statements like, “I want to know Him”, “One thing I do”, “Forgetting what is behind” and “Pressing On”, I wonder if I am living them as much as I love them. I am truly just a recovering hypocrite that truly does want to live out statements like these as much as I love them and I struggle to define how. But today I chose to Press On.