Reading: Philippians 3:12-16
Be Still And Know:
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14
Drink Deep From The Well:
Life can feel like a dizzy race. We run with all our might to attain things that only leave us wanting more. The pursuit of perfection never satisfies. When we look to anything other than Jesus to fill the void that is in our hearts, we are left dazed and disappointed. Paul knew how it felt to run in circles, chasing perfection and never reaching the prize. For most of his life, he followed the law and held a high rank as a "Hebrew of Hebrews" and a "pharisee" (verse 5). It wasn't until he caught a glimpse of the glory of Christ that he gave up the chase for perfection and started chasing Jesus.
Press On And Press In
I have never truly enjoyed running. It wasn't until I was a sophomore in college that I attempted to run a race. The act of running was hard, but the finish line was worth it. After my first 5k, I set out to run a half marathon. People literally laughed when they heard of my goal because they knew how much I lack athleticism! The training was grueling, but at the end of the 13.1 miles, I was already ready to run another race. The prize keeps us going. Commitment keeps us running.
The goal of our life is not to live in our dream home, become famous, or have a large social media following. The goal is to know Christ Jesus. The itch in our heart to chase perfect was placed in us by the Lord. The problem is we tend to chase the world's version of "perfect" instead of the One who is perfect, Jesus. Philippians 3:12 says "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." Did you get that? Jesus made you his own. You are His. He ran ahead of you in the race when He bore the cross. He runs with you as you follow Him, and He is at the finish line waiting for you. Jesus is the goal. Jesus is the perfect we are to chase after.
In order to do run the race of life how God intends us to, we have to determine in our hearts to "press on" and press into Him. In the Greek, to "press on" means to pursue, seek after eagerly, and endeavor. Daily "pressing on" looks like giving the first moments of our morning to the Lord. It looks like having hope when life feels like it is falling apart. It looks like rejoicing even in the moments you don't feel like having joy. It looks like clinging to God's promises even when your prayers seem to go unanswered. Press on and press into the One who goes before you and goes with you.
Forget The Past
The past does not dictate the future of a believer. Jesus is capable of taking what has been done and making it into something new. He redeems and He restores what has been lost and broken, for His glory. In order to run the race of life well, we have to forget what lies behind and release any baggage that keeps us from running with all of our energy. Because Christ has cared for us by spilling His blood to make us clean, we no longer care for the past. We trust Him with today and with the future. Jesus can redeem anything.
When I was at miles 10 and 11 in my first half marathon, I wanted to give up. The miles proved longer than I thought and my body was extremely weak. I had to remind myself that every single step was one step closer to reaching the finish line. Before I ran the race, one of my friends told me that I needed to run the first 4 miles with my legs, the next 4 miles with my head, and the last 4 miles with my heart. The last miles of reaching forward with my heart helped me cross the finish line. In the race of life, we have to run with our legs, head, and heart. Walking toward the finish line, knowing Jesus is the Prize, and loving Him along the way. He is the prize of the race of this life.
Don't chase the world, today. Chase Jesus. He has run before you and is running with you.
Ask And Apply
- What do you chase each day? How can you chase Jesus?
Today I Learned
Each step matters in this life, no matter how small. Jesus is with me as I run and by His grace I will reach the finish line!
Today I Will
Today I will let go of my desire for worldly perfection and chase Jesus who is perfect.
Jesus, in the race of life that we are running, You are the prize. We let go of all that holds us back and trips us up and grab onto Your hand. Thank You for running ahead of us and with us. For Your glory. Amen.