Friday, August 24, 2012

“It Ain’t Over ‘Till I Say It’s Over.”

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:12-14)

Just when I thought I had completed the sermon on “Please Be Patient, God’s Not Finished With Me Yet” I find that I missed a full page of my notes!!  So, for the diligent who want the whole sermon, here is some important stuff about “pressing on.”

Discipleship is active and aggressive, not passive.  It requires our attention and discipline to receive its reward.  Life will live the person who does not live it.  This simple fact is demonstrated over and over again all around us.  We are followers of something or someone.  Too many rise up each day and follow the crowd, the track, the course, the media, their friends, etc. but say they have trouble following God!  Paul does not decry the having of a goal.  As a matter of fact, he encourages it; but it needs to be a worthy goal.  When we discover the Spiritual Goal of our life, we will discover a reason for existing beyond any other. 

A past commitment can only bring guilt when not connected to a present achievement.  A thirty-year-old with a nine-year-old commitment never knows abundance though they may have some assurance in a past salvation.  God has so much more than we have received in both blessing and experience but you have to submit to Him and seek it.

Why Press Toward the goal"I press on toward the goal" v.14
·      To live in continual victory.  There is little victory in the "knowing" of God's will.  It is in the performing that we discover our victory and purpose.  "The goal" is before us all the way to the end. It is not at the beginning.  To only answer the "call to the mark" is not to press on toward the goal of God's vision for your life.  Victory is found in realized goals and plans; not empty dreams and promises. We will not be victorious without "pressing on".

·      To realize continued spiritual growth.  The word “press” means to act on with a steady force, to push against; to push together; to squeeze out, to remove wrinkles; to keep on asking and urging.  To press on is to take the next revealed step for your life and ministry.  It may be a public profession of your faith, baptism, church membership, a new service area, an advanced Bible Study or evangelism.  The greatest growth of your life will occur when you SERVE God because there are just some things that you will never learn without service.

The phrase, “reaching forward”, means straining towards the goal, leaping over obstacles, running through troops, breaking down barriers and doing whatever else is needed to overcome.  God will reveal what you need to do and it is your responsibility to respond.  If the level of your spiritual life requires no challenge or growth, you are missing the joy of victory.

Scripture to Claim:
Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; (Philippians 3:15)

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