Vol. 4, No. 8
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward theg oal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians3:13-14
Some people almost overdose on the Olympics. It is difficult to watch the many events over a 2-week period and not be impressed with the commitment and dedication world-class athletes give to their respective sports.
There is sacrificed time, sacrificed relationships, sacrificed careers, sacrificed educational opportunities – because the required training requires an everyday regimen for several years in order to participate in an event. Some events last mere seconds.
People who watch often see tears and agony when the hope of wearing an Olympic metal is dashed behind someone else’s swift feet, or buried in a splash in the long swim.
Is it wrong to want something so deeply that everything else takes a distant second or fourth in priority?
Perhaps zeal and sacrifice are not the problem. Maybe it is the goal! Is it worth giving whole-hearted dedication to gain an award or hear the applause of the crowd? How long does the applause last? How long does the honor of the award last?
Paul was a man who understood zeal. In fact, he admits that he was giving whole-hearted commitment to one thing. He was not dabbling in the many things, just one.
Notice his mental attitude in verses 12-14:
- He is determined: pressing on
- He is focused: forgetting what lies behind
- He is sold out: straining forward to what is ahead
Certainly, he is after something. What is it?
It is something that is eternal. It is something that lasts long after the Facebook or Instagram sessions. Something that will never be forgotten or simply recorded in a pile of statistics.
One thing I do kind of zeal is to be reserved for only one kind of prize. It is that for which God has called us heaven-ward. That of knowing Christ and being found in Christ.
It begs the question, does it not?
What is your #1 priority – the sole focus of your heart – that burning passion that so drives you that all else is but a distant second (or fourth)?
When you came to Christ did you determine to be focused, sold out to know Him?
How is it going for you?
I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven. –Philippians 3:14 NLB