August 30, 2021

Philippians 3:12-14

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


               Life is about excellence.  When we settle for less we rob ourselves, others and God.  It is not about perfection in the sense that we have arrived, but is about perfection in the sense of pursuit of God’s highest and His best for us and for others.  Life is a growing and maturing process and so is our faith.  There is what we learn in our heads and then there is what we experience in real life.  It is knowledge and experience that give us wisdom and wisdom only comes through a lot of hard knocks, mistakes and the grace of God at work in our lives. 

               God isn’t some angry person up there with a big stick ready to smack you when you get out of line.  It isn’t the fear of God that leads us to repentance, it is His goodness.  God knows we are going to make our share of mistakes and gives us correction and discipline along the way because He loves us and wants us to have a vision of His highest for us as we pursue that with all of our hearts. 

               It is not in running away from God that we find our love, joy, peace and righteousness; it is only found as we run into Him.  That is what makes up His kingdom and that is the nature of who He is. 

               Life is hard and there are times we all get tired, discouraged and disillusioned.  Sometimes our hope and faith begin to flicker, but deep within there is the witness of the Holy Spirit that lets us know it is not in what we feel in the moment of what we are going through, but it is in the reality of who He is, beyond what we see, we know that He is.  There are forces at work all around us to rob that reality, that faith, that purpose, identity and destiny from us.  If they can obscure our vision long enough perhaps we will abandon this pursuit of the Most High. 

               God even teaches us through the weather that there will be days obscured with clouds and stormy weather.  Our natural mind says the sun isn’t shining, but in reality we know that it never ceases to shine, it is our perspective and position that obscures our vision of it.  If our Son isn’t shining today then the problem isn’t with the Son, it is with us and our location of observation.  If you want to see the Sonshine press through the stormy clouds of adversity and discouragement.  Press into what you don’t feel like doing.  If you want to see the Son you have to change your perspective.  You begin to speak the Word into your heart, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Psalms is a great book to elevate us back into the place of Sonshine, because David was so often where we find ourselves, but He knew how to find His position where the Sonshine of God’s  hope and love flourishes. 

               It is not the failures that bring us to defeat, it is when we fail to get back on our feet and declare, “You are God, and by Your grace and exceeding great and precious promises I will prevail!”  Our failures only cause us to draw the more from His strength and not our own.  It is the Christ in us that empowers us not the perception of Christ up, out and away from us.  Come back into the identity of who you are in Him.

               Our failures are often just the rungs in the ladder to our victory and overcoming if we refuse to give up and keep pressing in. The way less traveled is difficult, treacherous and costly, but it leads to His highest.  It is the road of excellence.




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