“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) Phil. 3:12-14
These were the words of an inspired writer, wont to Hebrew culture, knowledgeable as a scribe and enlighten in the Roman world. Paul, the apostle tells us that, with all his burning desire to know Christ better, he was yet to do so, neither was he sinless or perfect. The bible denies any thought of a sinless man; it further says we’ll be disillusioned if we lay claim to sinless-ness. (John 1:8)
Just after that, he says all is not lost because he presses on to lay hold of that which Christ Jesus had laid hold for him. With all our foibles, we can only but stay focused to remain Christians, the war we wage against the twist and turns of life is not ours. We must not be orphaned by the false imagery of hopelessness because when we surrendered to Christ he first had laid hold of that which he deems best for us.
Like the proverbial clay in the hands of the potter, we must allow Christ to use us as instruments of transformation in our generation like he did in the case of brother Paul. Radiate love in its purest sense, preach peace between Christ and man and portray Christ everywhere you find yourself.
Forgetting can be quiet daunting though, but we’re told to forget about our past sins, our past defeats, our past failures, our past misfortunes and mishaps since they can only serve as a good launch pad to our brighter tomorrow in Christ Jesus. In the Christian race, these things are bound to come our way; we’ll only be defeated if we fail to forget and strive towards what is ahead, that requires the conscious effort on the part of man.
In all of these, Paul concludes by telling us to press on toward the goal to win the prize. In any athletics competition the athlete keeps an eye on the prize and that propels him to press on. Our heavenly father promises us of an eternal reward, which unlike the athlete’s crown will no perish. Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown (1 Cor. 9:24, 25).
Keep on keeping on!