Reaching Towards the Goal
12 Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, 14 I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Last we left off, Paul was describing that even though he had all these accolades in life which would probably justify him in society’s eyes to boast about himself, instead, he considered all those things as rubbish in comparison to having a relationship with Christ. Then, in verses 12 to 14, Paul encourages the believers at Philippi to pursue Christ as he is pursuing Him. Starting with verse 12, “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” Many believers, even in the modern day era, may put Paul on this “pedestal,” as he did write a large chunk of the New Testament, planted many churches, suffered many imprisonments and beatings, and eventually was martyred. Yet here, we see that Paul was humble, sharing that he hasn’t reached that final goal yet of being with the Lord, being perfect. Paul is so in love with the Lord who saved Him on that Damascus Road; therefore, Paul doesn’t settle for mediocrity, but fully pursues Christ with everything.
Verse 13, Paul puts the past sinful life he had to reach forward towards Christ, “Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead.” This attitude is very similar to the author of Hebrews, in Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.”
And the end goal of the race? Verse 14, “I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.” Like a marathon, Paul pursues the prize of hearing from His Lord whom He loves, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Earthly prizes are temporary and fade away, but an eternal prize is infinitely valuable. What is required is perseverance and faithfulness. May we be inspired by Paul, not settling for mediocrity in our Christian walk, but being fully sold out for Jesus, daily walking with the Savior who loved us first and gave Himself for us.
Isaac De Guzman