Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12-14
Last week, we began a discussion on the steps Paul lays out for us in the book of Philippians for how to live a life of joy and success. To review, the first step was to forget what is behind you. The second step was to focus on what is before you. And today, we’re going to look at the last step, which is to face what is beyond you.
Remember, life is like a race. In this passage, Paul is talking like an athlete. What he is saying is, “No matter how dark tomorrow may look, no matter how dire my circumstances may be, no matter how discouraging things may appear, I am going to keep running. I won’t be deterred. I won’t be detoured and I won’t be distracted. I am going to keep my eyes on the prize of knowing God and glorying Him until I hit the finish line of my life.”
Let me ask you, what one thing will you focus on for the rest of your life? At the end of the day, at the end of every day, we all focus on one of two things – what we want or what God wants.
Too many people spend their life making things instead making things count. What would it mean for you if you finally got your eyes on the right prize, and every day you pressed on toward that prize? What would it look like for you to have a kingdom mindset, an eternal focus? Your entire world will change when your perspective changes to focus on what is most important, and that is Jesus Himself. But for that to happen, we must face what is beyond us, and that is the thought of eternity.
Do you know where you’re spending eternity? Do you have confidence that you are going to heaven when you die? Are the people around you confident in where they’ll spend eternity as well? These are questions we all need to be considering as we think about eternity and face what lies ahead of us if we want to run well in the race of life.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ that allows me to spend eternity in heaven with you. I pray that You would give me a burden for the salvation of others so that I might spread the gospel message to them where they can enjoy a relationship with you on earth and eternity with you in heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.