In pursuit of God’s calling
I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14
The wonder and glory of the call that God gave Paul so captured his heart that he could not be passive or casual about it. The call to serve for God’s purpose, Paul would respond by seeking to lay hold of that purpose. The call to bring him into intimate knowledge of God, Paul would respond by fervently, passionately seeking that knowledge. From the text Paul uses the analogy of a runner wanting to succeed to describe how one pursues God’s calling. He must not concern himself with some awkward mistake or misstep at the beginning of the race. He cannot run well if he is thinking about how poorly he broke from the masses, or, on the other hand, how very well he covered the first few yards. He must forget all these, instead his focus and concentration must be completely on the goal line. He must strain towards it with everything his body has to offer and exerting all his efforts. We must approach the Christian life in the same manner. We must not look back to our failures or successes. We must keep ever in mind that our goal is to know Christ better, and we must daily put forth the effort to reach that goal. We should not live lives that are cluttered, distracted and fragmented. We must live our lives with unifying purpose finding the singular priority that makes life worth living; the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us give ourselves totally to it. Paul knew that such goal will not be achieved on this side of the earth. The goal of intimately knowing Christ is a lifetime pursuit. He writes: “I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”(v. 13). May God help each of us to come before the Lord in the same way!