“…reaching forward to those things which are ahead…”
— Philippians 3:13
In Philippians 3, Paul uses athletic imagery to describe his race for Christ. “Reaching forward” is a figure of a runner whose hand is stretched out way in front of his body. He is telling us that we need that eager aspiration, that enthusiasm that comes with God within us, causing us to reach out after greater things. Our soul needs to be ten or twenty paces in front of our body.
We need that eagerness of heart. Too often we go through our jobs, we go through our devotions, we go through our worship, we go through our service for Christ with a perfunctory attitude. There is no eagerness that drives us. We need to have that eagerness of spirit.
Paul adds, “I press toward the goal to the prize” (v. 14). In addition to eagerness of spirit, there needs to be great exertion expended to reach the mark. The words “press toward the goal” here mean to pursue, to virtually persecute, and to go after something in an intense way.
We who are saved, know that eternal life is not the result of our pursuing, of our running a race, but it is a free gift because of Christ’s death on our behalf. We have then set before us a vision of the prize of the high calling of Christ where we can live our lives for His glory until that day when the King shall call us up on high and crown us with an imperishable crown. Keep your eye on the prize as you run the race.
Lord, give me strength for today to run the race. I am often weak and stumbling along. Give me the grace to keep my eyes on heavenly things. Thank You that You will lead me safely home one day…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH,
WE WILL FINISH THE RACE.