Straining Toward the Goal

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:12-14 ESV

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not where God wants you to be in Christ. You have some growing up to do yet. There are flaws in your character that the Lord needs to change. There are problems yet with the way you think about things. But guess what, the same thing is true of me and every other child of God. We will always come up short while we are living in the flesh. There is coming a day in which we will no longer need to grow and change, but now is not that time. Our response to this truth is to not give up trying. We must determine in our hearts to press on with all the effort we can muster to be better than we are today, with a clear vision of Christ before us.

Strain to grow. It is not an easy process. Growing in Christ takes much persistence, perseverance, and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. The journey has many twists and turns, ups and downs. There are many victories along the way as well as battle scars. If it were easy, everyone who professes to be a child of God would become mature and be easy to get along with.

Forget the past and all that is there; press on. As long as you are looking behind you, you are not moving forward. You can’t press on when you are strapped down with your past. You cannot keep your eyes fixed on what lies before you when they are fixed on what is behind you. What is under the blood stays there. When Christ forgives us of our past and lets it go, we must do the same.

There is a wonderful day ahead of us in which we will be with our Lord. Keep your eyes focused on that day and live for it with all the energy and determination you can muster. The Lord is ahead of you, waiting for you. He’s got your back covered so give Him all you’ve got.

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