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 is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me but it is parts of the Bible that I do understand that bother me. This is one of those verses for me. It is a verse that challenges me and convicts me each time I read it. While this verse is challenging and convicting it is also encouraging. Let me share with you some thoughts as to why I love this piece of scripture.
- Resist Contentment – Paul says he has not yet apprehended. In other words, Paul is trying to tell us that he has not yet arrived. His ultimate desire from verse 10 is that he could know Christ. However, he acknowledges the fact that he still has room to grow. Think for a minute…If Paul (the writer of the majority of the New Testament) has not arrived then I know we still have work to do in our relationship with Christ.
- Forget the Past – Paul has to forget those things which are behind him. The key to getting to a deeper level with Christ means we have to forget past failures and we have to forget past victories. Past failures can cause us to feel inadequate. Past victories can cause contentment. We have to quit looking back if we want to move forward.
- Jesus must be the Goal – Paul made Jesus his goal. If we are going to go deeper with Christ then we have to make him our goal. Much of the time we make faulty goals that cause us to miss Christ by a million miles. We have a tendency to create comparison that are inadequate. We must quit comparing ourselves to other people, other families, other marriages and start comparing ourselves to Jesus.
Paul teaches us that in order to know Christ we have follow these three principles. Remove the distractions and put ourselves in a position to grow to a new level with Christ.