Going All Out (Philippians 3:13-14)
Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
It was a fog-shrouded morning, July 4, 1952, when a young woman named Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. She intended to swim the channel from the island to the California coast. Long-distance swimming was not new to her; she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions. The water was numbing cold that day. The fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats in her party. Several times sharks had to be driven away with rifle fire. She swam more than fifteen hours before she asked to be taken out of the water. Her trainer tried to encourage her to swim on since they were so close to land, but when Florence looked, all she saw was fog. So she quit... only one-half mile from her goal. Later she said, "I'm not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land, I might have made it." It wasn't the cold or fear or exhaustion that caused Florence Chadwick to fail. It was the fog. “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.” Hannah More.
Many times we too fail, not because we're afraid, or because of the peer pressure, or because of anything other than the fact that we lose sight of the goal. Maybe that's why Paul said, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14). Two months after her failure, Florence Chadwick walked off the same beach into the same channel and swam the distance, setting a new speed record, because she could see the land.
May my heart continue to be determined, driven, and directed to make it my purpose to please Him in all I do (II Corinthians 5:9). There are several goals I want to achieve for the Lord, but here are four that are a priority.
1. I Want to Comprehend Christ (Philippians 3:10).
God has revealed His grace and glory to me in the person of His Son. Still, I want a growing, spiritual, experimental knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I want to know all that he has done for me. I want to know him, to know him fully.
2. I Want to Be Totally Committed to Christ (Galatians 2:20).
I want to lose my life totally to Christ and in Christ, so that I can truthfully say with the apostle Paul, ‘For to me to live is Christ.’ I want to be committed to Christ as He was to the Father, so that my heart says to Him in all things, ‘Not my will, but thine, be done.’ It is my constant prayer that God will give me a heart committed to the Lord Jesus Christ, committed to His will, His gospel, His people and to the cause of His glory in this world.
3. I Want to Be Conformed to the Image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
My heart hungers to be more like Him, conformed to Him; to be like Him in love, tenderness, and thoughtfulness; in zeal, dedication, and devotion; in purity, holiness, and righteousness.
4. I Want to Live in Communion with Christ (I John 1:3, 7).
Contrary to what many contemporary sermons suggest, as Christians, life’s journey is not going to come without obstacles and adversities. We cannot pursue the acceptance of the world and at the same time expect to be pleasing to Him. Although it costs to follow in the footsteps of Christ, it will be worth to hear Him confess us before the Father and say, “Well done!”
Prayer: Father, I know these goals are not achievable in this life. These are the things for which my soul craves and I refuse be satisfied with less. Help me to press toward these every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.