Read Philippians 3:12-14
In verse 13, Paul does not consider to have laid hold of it, seized it, tackled it! Again this means that he has not become mature. He has not achieved a state of perfected Christ-likeness. He hasn’t arrived.
But there is ONE THING he does: He is forgetting what is behind—those accolades, accomplishments, sins, habits, whatever that weight him down—he’s not living in the past—he’s not letting his past failures hinder his future growth. We can learn from past failures, but let’s not stay there.
He is also “straining”—this word again has athletic imagery as it was used of a runner stretching every ounce of their muscles to the limit—he puts forth effort to know Christ and become more Christ-like.
It doesn’t happen automatically. It takes discipline. It won’t happen by osmosis. The Holy Spirit produces the work in your life and causes the growth, but you still have a responsibility.
In verse 14, Paul presses on toward the goal.
- For the prize—the scepter given to the winner of the race representing victory
- Of the Upward call—often times the victor is called up on the platform to receive the prize
- IN CHRIST JESUS—this is the ultimate key
The final prize is not necessarily heaven although that is wonderful. It is a by-product of the ultimate prize. The ultimate prize is CHRIST JESUS HIMSELF!
John Piper in his book “God is the Gospel” says this: “If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauty you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there? Can we really say that we are being prepared for heaven where Christ Himself, not His gifts, will be the supreme pleasure?”
Is Christ your supreme treasure and are you pressing on to know Him more deeply and to joyfully await seeing Him face to face?
I forget what is behind and press on and strain toward the prize—You are the PRIZE!! As great as heaven will be, it will mean nothing if I’m not there with You. You are glorious and worth it all! You are my supreme treasure and I can’t wait to see You face to face! May I keep my eyes fixed on YOU!
To God Be the Glory,