Too Familiar   


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. Phil. 3:13-14

I grew up in a Christian home. I don’t mean that I grew up in a home where people thought they were Christians but lived like everybody else. I mean that my parents loved the Lord, and because they did, they poured Scripture into my brother and me. They ensured that our lives were spent in the fellowship of our church. They guided our lives according to biblical teaching and attempted to honor Jesus through it all.

Because of this godly legacy, I possess a rich warehouse of Bible knowledge and understanding. I trusted Christ as a young boy and have walked – however haltingly at times – with Him since I was six years old. It’s easy to consider my relationship with Christ as “successful.”

One of my greatest temptations, then, is to just coast through the rest of my walk with Jesus. In Philippians 3, Paul demonstrates his desire – strong drive – to continue his pursuit of Jesus. As I read this, I’m convicted that often I don’t have that same kind of drive to chase Christ.

Here’s why: I sometimes become lazy in my assurance of salvation. (Granted, God gives me assurance of this as I walk with Him. It is a real gift from God.) Because I know all of the doctrines concerning salvation and His keeping me, I am tempted to not “work out my salvation with fear and trembling” much anymore.

As I’ve hear the above passage preached before, I hear those preachers say that the “what lies behind” stuff is either worldliness or sin, so we must press past those things. But, if you read the whole thing in context, Paul’s “what lies behind” stuff is the things he counts as righteousness or gain. All of his religious past is forgotten so that he can press into faith in Christ. This faith, by the way, is today’s faith in Christ, not yesterday’s.

We are called to an active faith, day by day. So, instead of resting in the all too familiar place of just hanging out and waiting for the end, we ought to be pressing toward the goal…

At least I know I need to press on…because Jesus is worthy!
In Him,
Pastor Jim