Philippians 3:13 (NKJV) Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
If we honestly believe God has a plan for our lives then it would be wise to consider how well we’re doing. Sometimes, God leads us to set a goal or develop an idea but we can get distracted – even by our own success. The apostle Paul, who wrote these words, was one of the most prolific missionaries in history and wrote about 2/3rds of the New Testament. But as he reflected on the goals he felt God had set for his life he concluded, “I do not count myself to have apprehended” – in other words, I’m not there yet friends! It would have been easy for Paul to “chill out”– after all, he had accomplished more for the Kingdom than most people. But Paul understood that so long as he was alive, he had something more to do for the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth.
Paul learned to “forget what was behind”and “press toward the goal”. The success of the past is in the past. The failures of the past – are in the past. Our task is to remember that God is the God of the living, not the dead (and the past is dead to us). We need to press on because the “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” is a lofty calling. Perhaps God once called you to participate in the children’s ministry at your church. It would be easy to say in your heart “I’ve been there, done that. I’ve done my time of service. It’s now time to for someone else to help.” It could be that God has indeed called you on to some other point of service but if not, could it be that you need to “forget what is behind”and “press on”? God is calling us to be involved with the advancement of His kingdom all the way to the last minute of our lives – all the way to the end.