Megan Evans, Women’s Ministry Director LHBC
Philippians 3:12-16 (ESV)
12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
With summer upon us, highways will soon be packed with vacationing travelers. Stuffed in between siblings and suitcases, you can often find restless passengers eager to arrive at their destinations. With this restlessness comes the question that drives parents crazy, “are we there yet?” Up and down the interstate moms and dads will answer back for the hundredth time, “not yet!” Whether you are five or fifty, you’ve probably whined the same question.
Maybe it’s just our human nature, but we don’t like to wait. We’d much prefer to hurry up and reach our end goal. Contrary to our fast-paced culture, Paul reminds us in Philippians 3 to cherish progress. He describes spiritual growth and change and encourages all of us not to give up. Press on toward the goal.
Are we there yet? Nope. Not one of us. Paul lovingly identifies with fellow believers in this process, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Just listen to that language! Our starting place begins at “because Christ Jesus made me his own” and it’s our finishing place as well. The word perfect used here means completion. Paul is talking about sanctification, not human perfection.
Focusing on our past failures can keep us from moving forward, yet by Christ’s forgiveness we are free to press on. Paul reminds us that as we cling to God’s Truth our bumps and bruises can be reminders of just how far we’ve come. We are God’s masterpiece and He will complete the work He began in us (Philippians 1:6). We can press on to completion not because we will achieve it by striving, but because Christ has made us his. Our lifetime is the process of molding and shaping by the Potter’s Hand, and our change takes place from the inside out as we lean into Him. These are freeing words for every Christian who has ever tried to be humanly perfect even for a moment. In heaven at last we will fully reflect Jesus, but God uses us even now for His glory. Without Jesus, we will never measure up to our perfect and holy God. We press on by pressing in. And so daily we walk in-step with our Lord. We listen and learn His ways. We learn from our mistakes. We keep walking. We keep pressing on.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, you are so patient with me. I thank you for loving me and for working in me. Help me to be patient with the process of change. I want to know Jesus, be like Jesus, and become all of the things you would have me to be. Teach me, mold me, shape me for my good and your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.