“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
Paul writes: “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect [mature], be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you” (vv. 14-15). Paul describes the Christian as a marksman. In Paul’s day, the mark would have been hit by an arrow, but in our day, the mark could also be hit at a firing range. If you have ever fired at a target, you know this:
- Your aim must be unbroken by distractions. When you have the bullseye in your crosshairs, something as insignificant as taking a breath at the wrong moment can make you miss the mark. So what is Paul saying? Simply this: “Forget what’s behind you and around you and stay focused on winning the prize.” He is not referring to your salvation. Jesus already purchased that and gives it to you freely by His grace. No, he is talking about fulfilling your God-given destiny and obtaining the reward that waits beyond it.
- Your bullet has to have the right amount of powder. Otherwise, it will start dropping off before it hits the mark. Are you getting the idea? Your powder is your power! And where does your power come from? The Holy Spirit! Jesus said: “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem [at home], and in all Judea and Samaria [on the job and in your relationships], and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). So the word for today is — aim for the mark and don’t get distracted by other things.
Father, let me press forward toward the goal of life with You, spreading Your Word to all I meet. I thank You for Your strength, wisdom, mercy and grace which allow me to live my life for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.