“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14.
Paul shares that he is “straining toward what is ahead.” The imagery here is that of a long distance runner in competition, who is straining every muscle and inner strength to push his mind and body towards the goal that is ahead of him. A focused athlete does not waste time and energy looking behind him but at the prize ahead.
Here we can learn:
1) Forget your past. Do not wallow in past mistakes but learn from them as wisdom for the future. Your past is a story, and history that can bring God Glory. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Rom. 8:28.
2) Create your future. ‘Straining toward what is ahead’, implies intentional actions for new results. It involves determination, discipline, and sweat. Your calling and purpose is your motivation to bear temporary discomfort for a greater prize.
3) Press forward. Just before the finish line, an athlete can experience extreme exhaustion, pain, thirst, and breathing issues. Yet, there is a psychological phenomenon that something can happen that makes him or her suddenly gain strength, speed up, and run the fastest of the entire race towards the finish line. After years of research, Psychologists are now concluding that the limitations of endurance are in our minds. In other words, your thoughts determine your limitation. They are agreeing with the Bible that states: “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Prov. 23:7 (NAS).
With God as your Savior, not only does He see you at the finish line, but also He is running alongside you with encouragement, and rivers of living water to give you when you are thirsty. Don’t give up or give in to limited endurance. Pray, be refreshed, and press towards your victory and prize that is waiting for you. He has already planned your greeting: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
The LORD is my Strength, my Shield and my Salvation.
Read the Bible in One Year: Genesis 33-35; Matthew 10:1-20