Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers and sisters, 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. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven ward in Christ Jesus.”
Paul is reaching toward the upward call of God. He is looking to the day when he will meet his Maker, and there, have to give an account for his life. Paul’s desire is to hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant.” Is that your desire too?
It is mine. Here we are in 2017, and I, too, want to live my life pressing on toward that upward call. But, what does that mean? Paul tells us that God is working in us to bring about His perfect will. Paul says that he isn’t looking back behind him, but he leaves the past and reaches for the future, pressing on toward the goal.
Paul was concerned with his faith walk, he wanted to grow in the knowing the Lord. He wanted his faith and trust to grow deeper. He wanted to grow in Christ-likeness. We, as Christ followers should be like-minded. We, too, should want to grow in Christ-likeness, and in knowing the Lord more deeply. We need to search our hearts and seek the Lord in prayer in order to determine where we are in our faith-walk. You might ask:
- Where am I growing in my faith?
- Where am I lacking in knowledge?
- Is there a specific area that I am struggling in that I need wisdom for?
- Where do I need more faith?
When you take these things into consideration, you may want to look at them through the lens of your scripture verse for the year as well as through the lens of your word of the year. One or the other, or both, if you have them both. Both have helped me in deciding how I need to press on.
My verse for the year is “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope in the power of His Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
This verse reminds me that one area I need to press on in is learning to trust God more so I might live in joy and peace throughout this race of life. I desire to overflow with hope in Him. These are beautiful gifts of a growing faith.
I need hope in the Holy Spirit for when life seems impossible or when I feel inadequate or fearful. It is so easy to get hung up on our failures and our mistakes. It is too easy to feel like giving up. But, Paul says, “Press on.” He wants us to look to God, look toward God, press on toward the upward calling He has on you and your life.
My word for the year is “yield.” This word also helps me to see where and how to press on. It is easy to try to be or to think you are self-sufficient, trying to control things. It is in that place where I live driven and striving. But as I said, in an earlier post, I want to reach for a faith that yields to the Spirit’s power, to be more open to Him. Although, I must say, it is much more comfortable for me to try to do it my way. It feels safer when you have yourself believing you are in control. But that is a lie of the Enemy.
- God’s Spirit’s power to permeate my inner being.
- His love to saturate my heart.
- His peace to penetrate through all that holds me in anxiety and stress.
- His hope to be infused in my life and inspire me to live out my faith boldly.
- His joy to overflow my soul and result in praise and worship.
My yielded self is changed as He fills me. More of Him, less of me. I need to yield to His transforming power within me in so many areas.
- in learning to be present
- in learning to be transparent
- in learning forgiveness
- in learning to choose wisely
- in learning to rest in His love
Pressing on means moving forward with willingness and with your mind focused on the goal. I will pray as I press on, pray for His leading and His work in me.
This all may look a lot different for you but I urge you to set aside a chunk of time to look at what pressing on means for you.
Press on toward the heaven ward calling that is yours in Christ Jesus. May your soul be refreshed as you press on.