“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.” – Philippians 3:12
In vv.7-11 the apostle Paul spoke of the rich blessings that he now has in Jesus Christ. But as vv.12-16 show us, he has not attained the ultimate goal. As he says in v.14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Thus, Paul’s race, his running of the course of the life of faith, only ends once he is in Glory with his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
As he rightly notes in v.12, we shall never reach “perfection” in this life. In other words, the process of sanctification is lifelong and the goal unattainable in this life. But for the followers of Christ, they press onward, toward that heavenly goal, letting everything else drop to the wayside including any earthly loves, selfish goals, fears or regrets. For Christ has “laid hold of me”, says Paul, and therefore the only direction the Christian can go is to Him! For the course in which Paul runs, is the same one in which we as believers must all run. We have salvation and belong to Christ, but the fullness is yet to come. Like an Olympic runner, we run with all our heart, soul, strength and mind to reach the heavenly prize, the fullness of life in Christ! This is the upward call of God to us, and we cannot take it lightly or ignore it. And so, let us run with perseverance in the race before us!
Suggestions for prayer
Look to Jesus and fix the eyes of your faith on Him. Do not lose heart or grow weary in this spiritual race, but find your strength in Him and rejoice in the glorious prize that awaits all His redeemed at the end, the fullness of eternal life!
Rev. Ancel Merwin serves as minister of the Immanuel United Reformed Church of Listowel, Ontario, Canada. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.