“. . . 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.”
— Philippians 3:13-14
Have you ever wondered why some people succeed while others fail? Do successful people have heredity, environment, luck, money, or education on their side? Those factors have probably contributed toward the success of some, yet we all know people who have enjoyed these benefits and have amounted to little. On the other hand, history is replete with examples of those who had none of those advantages yet succeeded magnificently.
So what are the secrets of success? I believe that Paul tells us some of those secrets in Philippians 3:13-14. First, Paul says, “. . . reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” How important that is. This picture alludes to a runner who stretches his or her hand way in front of the body. Through this picture, Paul tells us that we need that eager aspiration, that enthusiasm that comes from God within us, causing us to reach out toward greater things. We need that eagerness of heart if we’re to succeed. Too often we go through our jobs, our devotions, our worship, and our service for Christ with perfunctory attitudes. But when we have eager anticipation, God can do great things through us.
Second, Paul says, “I press toward the goal for the prize.” The phrase “press toward the goal” means to pursue, to go after something in an intense way. In addition to eagerness of spirit, we need to exert great effort to reach our goals. We need to clearly define worthy pursuits and forget about all of our failures. We need to exert energy to meet our goals and not let anything get in the way of reaching them.
Today ask the Lord to show you a goal worthy of your effort. Then ask Him to give you the enthusiasm and energy to press toward it. As you do so each day, you’ll get closer to “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”