SCRIPTURE: Philippians 3:1-14
One of the most disconcerting lessons in life is to discover the illusion of total success. There is never a point in life when we can kick back and say “I have ARRIVED!”. The minute that you think that you have arrived, someone goes right past you!
Nick Saban , a famous college coach, gave himself and his Crimson Tide team a well deserved break after winning the 2021 college national championships. “In 24 hours, you probably need to move on,” said Saban in his news conference. “It’s not about winning the championship. It’s about something more than that.”
That’s why he gives himself and his team 24 hours before they have to get back to the grind. “Move on,” he says, “because there’s always another challenge.”
Part of the journey is working towards a goal. We realize that we may never arrive! I will be honest. I went to church my whole life. I rarely missed a Sunday unless I was on the road playing baseball or now, I am on the road with my girls at gymnastics meets. I thought that I knew a lot about the Bible and its stories. I thought that I knew what it means to be a Christian. People often ask me what I have learned by being a pastor. I learned that I will never know everything that I need to know about the Bible and that I will always be learning on my spiritual journey. We may think that we know all that there is to know about religion but, in fact, we never totally arrive.
The birth of children, education, marriage, and death are all events on the journey. There are many intersections on the road of life. We find that God provides us with the equipment that we need for successful living. We are compelled to get our sense of satisfaction, significance, meaning, and fulfillment out of the journey itself. That includes our journey with God as an integral part of our journey in life. He leads the way!
Paul says, “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.” This is Paul who has traditionally believed to be the author of 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament.
The journey is an unknown path. God asks us to live a life of uncertainty and trust Him.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding , will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your hearts and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, the He will make your paths straight.”
God asks us to live one day at a time.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is not longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
We live and move in a future that is always unknown but with foundations and resources. God gives us an inner strength to deal with the unknown. Do you want to know God/Jesus Christ better than you do now? Then you need to spend more time with him. Our relationship with Jesus Christ requires an investment of time.
How do we spend our time? When a little boy fell out of bed and his mother asked him how it happened, he replied, “I stayed too near where I got in.” Many Christians conduct their lives the same way. They become satisfied that their sins are forgiven. They become satisfied that they will have a place in heaven. They stay “where they got in”. They don’t move forward in their spiritual lives. They experience spiritual boredom and ineffective lives. We need to spend more time with God and learn more about him so that we can truly live Christian lives.
Paul was revolutionized through getting to know Christ. Paul believed that the greatest thing that ever happened to him was getting to know Jesus Christ. He said to the Philippian believers, “Think about things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about things that are true and honorable and right and pure and respected. Do what you have learned from me, what I told you, and what you saw me do. And the God who gives peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9.
Make God an integral part of your journey through life to help you lead a better, more fulfilled life.