Pressing on to victory
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Messiah has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father also loves the one born of Him. This is how we know that we love God’s children when we love God and obey His commands. For this is what love for God is: to keep His commands. Now His commands are not a burden, because whatever has been born of God conquers the world. This is the victory that has conquered the world: our faith. And who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:1-5
In this world, we are surrounded by pressures that will either bring endurance that leads to victory or compromise that leads to spiritual defeat. This world offers popularity and social acceptance but do not care how you obtain them as long as you achieved what satisfies your selfish desires. The world, as John described, is characterized by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). How do you overcome the attitudes that pervade the world? How can you manifest the life of Christ while dealing with the pressures of the world? It is by faith in Christ as John said that we can overcome (see 1 John 5:4). It is by having faith to the one we trusted our life with. He is also the one who is at work within providing us His strength to counter the pressures around us. Jesus promised that when we come to Him, He will help us carry the burden. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). The key to faithful living is to focus on the goal that God had set for our life. If we simply live for the moment, we will never make any progress and we will wander aimlessly. For a while it may seem like fun, but eventually we will wake up only to find out that there is emptiness within. We need to remind ourselves over and over that this life is not all there is. Paul said, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, 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 heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained” (Philippians 3:12-16).
Noel De Guzman