In Philippians 3:12-14 God reveals the focus necessary to move forward by faith in Him: 12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Three Words Help Us Focus On Following God By Faith
You can trust God. He is good, and the plans that He has for your life are good. Paul trusted the Lord because he belonged to God by faith in Christ. Paul says that “Christ Jesus has made me his own.” This truth is born out of Paul’s complete surrender and trust in the promise of God in Christ Jesus. Paul trusts that His salvation is in the hands of God because of the grace of God. That is why Paul doesn’t claim to have obtained perfection to be saved. Instead, he attributes the righteousness in his life to the gift of God’s grace by faith. Meaning, that when he trusted Christ as His Savior God counted His faith as righteousness just like He did with Abraham in the Old Testament.
Even though things are hard, uncertain, and overwhelming God promises to work out everything for the good of those who love Him, because He has called them to salvation and has a purpose for their life. (Romans 8:28)
To often Christians only think in terms of destinations and avoid the idea of direction. As Christians and church-goers we like to feel like we have arrived and as a result we think in terms of finished projects instead of the trajectory of our lives. But, when you step back and examine the OT and the NT you see that God has called us to follow Him wherever He is leading. Which leads us to consider the trajectory of our lives and not just our intended destination.
Like Abraham, God has called us to follow Him where he leads us. Abraham left his home at the call of God to go to a land that had not been revealed yet. So, Abraham’s life is defined by the trajectory of faithfulness. At each turn and at each point in his life Abraham is called to be faithful on the journey to the promised land. Abraham and his family lived in tents because the journey was long and they were always moving forward in God’s direction. But, according to Hebrews 11 he was faithful at each step because he looked forward to the day where He would live in the city that had foundations, whose designer and builder as God.
We need to strive forward, forgetting what lies behind us, and seek to be faithful to God in all things- relationships, situations or circumstances, decisions, reactions, etc. Trajectory requires intentionality to how you live your life. To help see the focus and intentionality read through 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 and see how purposeful Paul was with the way he lived.
Follow Paul’s example: forget what lies behind and strain forward. This resonates with Jesus’ words in Luke 9:62 “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Don’t look back, aim your life in the direction of Jesus Christ and strive on.
Whatever you treasure most is what you will aim your life to attain. Your treasure is your goal. We mentioned this verse last week, Mark 6:21- “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Paul writes in Colossians 3, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Aim for being like Christ. Set the goal of being faithful to God in all of your relationships, situations, or circumstances. If you treasure Christ, then you will aim to live a life of faithful obedience to God, because you trust Him, because He has already saved you and taken hold of your life.