Monday, March 7, 2016

Paul’s Strategy for Success

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)
The Apostle Paul sets a good example on how to succeed in the Christian race.  He ran his race with a wholehearted commitment and gave every effort to succeed for Christ and wants the Philippian Church to strive for the same excellence.  Paul understood the high price to be paid because he had paid it himself.  It would take diligence and exertion to attain what God desired for them and for every one of us; but the price is worth the effort.
If, as men and women of God who have different perspectives, needs, and desires, we are to run this race with patience, we will need strategies for successfully completing our God-given purposes.  It is difficult to stay focused in these busy, perplexing times with so many things in the world that claim our attention and so many goals to reach.  How can we reach our potential for Christ?  How can we give Him our best?
Paul’s Strategy for Success
Paul, who is the author of our text, provides a strategy for the Philippian church as they move forward to become the best that they could be for Christ.  Rather than be complacent with where they were, the Philippians needed to set their sights higher.  They had let relationships and circumstances distract them from their mission.
Paul gives this church his personal testimony because Paul was never one to let circumstances conquer him.  Rather, with the help of God, he was determined to fulfill his God-given purpose.  In this text, Paul’s attitude, dedication, and determination shine through in a powerful way.
Many of us in the body of Christ become motivated and excited about our futures and destinies.  We make bold declarations of faith about who we are and where we are going.  Sadly however, many fail to reach their goals in their spiritual life because they have no strategy for success.  A strategy is a well thought out, workable plan for making progress.  Our goal of becoming the best we can be for the kingdom of God will consistently be challenged.
For this reason, Peter tells us, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8  We have an adversary, Satan, who desires to stop our progress.  We are challenged by Satan who wars against us and seeks to defeat us. Therefore, we must have a workable strategy in order to overcome him.
We are also challenged by our own limitations.  All of us have limitations, but limitations do not have the power to rob us of success, if we have a workable strategy.  We can apply Paul’s strategy for the Philippian Church to our own lives.  Pray and ask God to help you run with endurance, to not be distracted, and to aim high.  Don’t become comfortable where you are.  If you are too comfortable, it is time to move on!  May the daily studies help us to do just that.

Scripture to Claim:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…  Hebrews 12:1

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