I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point, I believe God will make it plain to you. But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.
I love this for so many reasons! Paul is speaking about pressing on towards a goal and not giving up. This is so applicable to our lives as believers because we are all called to strive and achieve goals. We can not give up, even though things might happen that discourage us. No dear friends, we have to press on and strive for perfection. Although, we will never reach perfection on Earth, we can strive for it everyday so that we are fulfilling those goals.
Something that distracts many people is the past. The past can hold so many negative memories, experiences, and also relationships. We sometimes struggle to let go of our past, and that enables us to put our entire focus on the future and what's ahead. But, Paul tells us here that we are to FORGET our past and look forward to what lies ahead. That is what our focus should be. We have to allow God to take those bad memories and replace them with focusing on the future. We can no longer let our past bog us down.
So, what happens when we turn from the past and focus ONLY on what's ahead?
We will reach the end of the race and receive a heavenly prize from Christ! If you're a runner (I'm not) then you know and can relate to that feeling of finishing a race. After running for so long and pressing on no matter what struggle comes about, you finish! Just think if you were to win 1st prize...wouldn't that be even better? Well, when we reach the end of our race as believers and achieve what Christ has called us to achieve, we will all win the race. The prize will also be far greater than any of us can imagine. We will win eternal life with Christ!
I hope that today you can ask God to help you move on from your past. Ask Him to take those memories away and replace them with a focus that only He could place in your heart. Begin running steadily towards the goal that He is calling you to.
Lord, Please renew our hearts today and place a fresh yearning for You. Please keep us focused on reaching the goals You have for us. Allow us to overcome distractions and hindrances that may be in our path. We know that with You carrying us, we can overcome anything. Nothing is impossible with You. Keep our minds and hearts on You today!