Saul of Tarsus’ life was the epitome of religious devotion. His zeal, however, was transformed when he met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Following the encounter, a new focus emerged in the man more widely known by the Roman nickname, Paul.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.”
The apostle Paul emphasizes a powerful biblical principle in his letter to the Philippian church. Like an athlete competing in a race, Christians must focus on the objective, which is none other than the Lord Himself.
Because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit the moment we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we can choose to be spiritually minded and strive for spiritual maturity. The focus of our lives will never be the same after we experience the new birth (Jn. 3:1-21).
Like Paul, our purpose for living has been redirected to bring our attitudes and actions into conformity to the Word of God. Spiritual maturity is a process dependent upon our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to guide all that we do (16:13).
Paul affirms God will reveal anything contrary and at the same time encourages us to be a visible testimony of God’s enabling power (Phil. 3:15).
Rather than succumbing to pressures of culture, determine to run your course aligned with the principles of God’s Word. The exertion required, the difficulty of our challenges and the expected obstacles along the way—all fade into the background as Christ Jesus becomes our preeminent driving force in life (Jn. 16:33).
1) Press Toward the Goal. (Image used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credit: Pixabay/[No attribution required]/Enhancement, MKM Portfolios)
Copyright © 2016 Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken authentically communicates biblical truth making his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.