This post is based off the last one a little bit. The story doesn’t end about us needing reminders of the same understanding we’ve come to over and over again. There’s one thing we must remember all the time: I’m not there yet.
Ever get to the point where you believe there’s nothing left to learn? Technology has changed that. Every day there’s something new for us web and graphic designers to learn. It doesn’t stop and we’ve never arrived. There’s a new graphic, a new terminology, a new style that catches our attention that now we must incorporate to what we already have or do. (And the new colors are orange and gray, by the way. Earlier this past year, it was blue and gray. I’m not sure why but it seems that the Gatorade colors are what people are most interested in, especially when layered over grays and blacks.)
But we tend to treat what we’ve been taught differently. We’re not all that teachable anymore. Our opinions define how we act…sort of. We live off opinions to an extent. Media influences what we’ve come to naturally believe about the rest of the world. But when someone comes and says something different we’re faced with a crisis. What we’ve been taught is familiar and safe. Change is scary, and believing that there’s still more for us to learn can hurt our pride. Sometimes I read the Bible and don’t see anything new. Sometimes it’s the same message. Sometimes my journaling seems to have recorded everything there is to know about a certain Scripture. Sometimes the commentary seems like it’s enough.
Paul gives great illustration to what he was and now has become. He believed he was there. He had attained what living for God was supposed to look like, or so he thought. When faced with Christ he came to a crisis in his life. This dilemma would change him forever if he chose to believe there was something more. I admire that. He allowed himself to be taught more. There are some things we’ve been taught that are solid and won’t change. But there are other things we have yet to learn.
Paul didn’t believe he was done. Philippians 3:7-11 says that he wanted to know more, even more Christ than he had. Nothing else mattered. Everything other than Christ was simply not worth it. All those things he had attained meant nothing anymore. Christ has become everything. All the deeds, even the motive in getting God’s approval for his life couldn’t bring him to that place. Only Christ could.
In verse 12, the apostle said that he hadn’t attained it yet! He said that he hasn’t arrived at his goal! That’s crazy! This guy whom God used for spreading His message of grace (and testimony that tops all others) said that he was not even close to getting there. What’s awesome is that he wasn’t going to let anything keep him from getting there either.
I think we tend to allow things to get in the way of our pursuit of knowing Christ. How many things come to mind that hold you back from living to your full potential in Christ? Fear? Acceptance? Rejection? Time? Family? Friends? Stuff in the past? Break free from the chains that hold you back from straining for what’s ahead!
Now finally, what I really want to get to is in verse 15 and 16.
All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
Those of us who have been in this journey with Christ for a while, should always keep in mind that God has more in store for us. We are to pursue Him and forget what’s behind to move forward. Those who haven’t been in this race for long, God will reveal more to you as you seek Him more. So live up to what we do know. Live up to what God has already revealed to us. We’re not there yet, but we can begin right now to live out what we’ve been taught already. What have you been keeping Christ from doing in your life? What is holding you back from running the race to take hold of the prize? Jesus knows God unlike any of us. But He took hold of us on the cross so that we can know God just like Jesus. Are we pressing on “to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”?