“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:13-14
A mark is a goal worth pursuing. The Apostle Paul, in the above-quoted text, was consumed with the goal of winning a heavenly prize. Not everything in life is worth pursuing or worth our attention as born-again believers. Destiny is worth pursuing. Purpose is worth pursuing. God is worth pursuing. Heaven and heaven’s rewards are worth pursuing. Souls for the kingdom of God are worth pursuing. Peace of mind and marital peace are worth pursuing – and the list goes on. What are your pursuits? Below are some truths to imbibe in order to PRESS into our goals:
Press against the odds: The odds to press against may be our own stubborn wills, the will of the enemy, our fleshy and lazy attitudes, or external enemies set against us. Gethsemane is the place where Jesus prayed the night before His crucifixion, while His disciples slept. Gethsemane literally means oil press or the place of the press. It was in Gethsemane Jesus pressed into His destiny of going to the cross. It was there He travailed to conquer Calvary. The inner strength and resolve to embrace Calvary was given to Him in Gethsemane (Luke 22:41-45). We have to press to prevail against all odds.
Repent from dead works: The Bible talks about dead works in Hebrews 6:1. Dead works are time-wasting activities we sometimes engage in which do not, in any way, help us to attain the mark or goal(s) we pursue. It’s time again for us to review our activities. It’s time to stop some things and start other things which fall in with your life aspiration. Apostle Paul, in our opening text, says he forgets what is behind and reaches forth to things ahead. Dead works are destiny killers, so beware!
Eliminate your fears: Those who reach their goals keep pressing on despite their fears. Several attempts were made at flying before the Wright Brothers successfully flew the first plane. Many of these attempts resulted in death and serious injuries. All these perils didn’t stop Orville and Wilbur Wright from pursuing their goal. They went on to perfect the mechanics of the three axis control which enabled attainment of equilibrium and proper steering of the aircraft. The courageous are not those who don’t feel afraid, but they are those who conquer their fears. Fear paralyses, while faith mobilizes.
Stretch your imagination: One of the ways in which man is made in God’s image and likeness is the ability to envision and make the vision happen (Isaiah 46:10-11). Abraham, after separating from Lot (veil) had a divine visitation where God told him, “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are – northward, southward, eastward and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever” (Genesis 13:14-15). Our perspective in life determines our pursuits. It is my prayer that the Lord sanctifies our thoughts and empowers us to see great things in Jesus’ name.
Solicit divine help: Divine help only comes to the needy, the vulnerable, the broken, the humble and the helpless. Angels came to minister to Jesus after He prayed earnestly for about three hours in Gethsemane. He was empowered and equipped to fulfill His destiny of going to the cross. We can only access divine help as we come to the end of ourselves and cry to God (Psalm 34:6). Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. Ask for grace for the race!
CONCLUSION: Keep pressing. Don’t settle. Don’t rest on your oars. By all means make progress because there is no resting on this side of eternity (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Have a blessed new month.