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.Philippians 3:12(NASB)
The ultimate goal of the Christian life is to become conformed into the very image and likeness of our glorified Saviour. Paul knew that like every other believer, his sanctification was a life-long process, which would only be completed when he finally stood in the presence of Christ Jesus.. his risen, ascended glorified Lord.
Ever since his saving encounter with the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul started to press toward the high call of God in Christ. He knew that many other Christians held him in high esteem - and considered him as a spiritual giant to which they could not aspire, but Paul also had to come to terms with his own works of flesh and the old sin nature, which caused him to cry out in Roman 7: oh wretched man that I am who shall deliver me from the body of death?
Paul knew the answer to that cry of despair was Jesus Christ alone, but even after some 30 years of dedicated service Paul assured these believers that there are no super-Christians in God's economy and told them reassuringly.. not that I have already obtained 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.
Paul looked to Christ alone and pursued Christlikeness with a passion. His ambition in life was to fulfil the purpose for which Christ had saved him when he was apprehended on that road to Damascus. He has won many spiritual battles and had grown from grace to grace into a certain level of Christian maturity, but he had not attained to all that Christ had purposed for him and had many spiritual mountains to climb, obstacles to overcome and enemies to face.
Growing in grace is an ongoing journey and an upward trek for every believer, but like Paul we need to press on for the upward call of God in Christ so that in Him we may lay hold of all that God has prepared for us to do for His glory in our own individual lives- and the Word of God is the most valuable piece of equipment in our possession for it tells us how to live godly in Christ Jesus and how to deal with the difficulties and dangers that strew our path.
Sanctification is a life-long process for all believers and like Paul none of us can boast that we have obtained all that God wants to do in our lives - for we each have our own special place of service and we each have our own personal goal that has been established by Christ.
Pressing towards the goal of our calling is the responsibility of all Christians and our objective in life should be to finish the race that is set before us and seek to attain to conformity to His death - which is death to the self-life - so that the life that we now live is a unsoiled reflection of the beauty of Christ in us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You have established the path that You want me to take. I pray that in the power of the Holy Spirit I my press on to the goal of my calling and lay hold of all that You have purposed for me to do - to Your praise and glory - in Jesus name I pray, AMEN
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