Life Goals

June 21, 2012

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Life Goals

What  is  a goal, but a target in life that you are aiming at.  The purpose is to hit as near to the center of that target or goal as you possibly can.  Paul gives us His life’s goal here.  This goal isn’t attained in a day, month or year; it is the goal of a life time.  Everyday, every hour and every moment is centered and directed into reaching this goal.  Paul says it is to win the prize.  According to this Greek word, prize (brä-bā’-on) it is a an award to the victor in the games.  This metaphor  is used one other place in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
The exhortation here is that we not live our lives half-heartedly.  You could never win a race that way.  The only way is in the training and discipline of godly living.  Paul is speaking of something higher here than just salvation.  He is speaking to those running to come into the full measure of who they have been called to be in Christ Jesus.  Many of us want to live to just get by and get into heaven.  In that vain you have already disqualified yourself from this race.  The race we are in is not just to go to heaven; it is to set the place for our position in eternity.  If we are willing to be content like the chickens to scratch out our rewards of this earth, then we will never have the vision to soar among the eagles and conquer the heavens.  Paul is exhorting us to have a greater vision, a greater goal and a greater purpose.  He ran with all the fervency and strength of Christ in Him to attain this goal and to wholly be spent on achieving it.  The person who has a revelation of this calling will give everything, be everything, spend everything, because they realize that there is no greater prize than to be all that they can be for Jesus.
Paul is not looking back at past failures that would condemn him and he is not settling in complacency with the things that he has already accomplished.  His eyes are ever forward and upward as he pursues his Savior, the forerunner, example and fullness of his salvation.  Paul is exhorting us to have the goal to be all that Christ has called us too and let all else become secondary to that pursuit of the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  Christ laid hold upon us for His purpose and He is calling us up into His highest.  Do we have the heart and vision to pursue Him into that place?
Paul is so dedicated to this race that he says previously in Philippians 3:7-11, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  Paul had many degrees, accolades, pedigrees and earthly qualification, but he counted all of that but rubbish, because it wasn’t those things that were going to help him to reach his goal.  The primary thing is to know Christ, our Lord, and be found in Him having the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.  It is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death.  This is the goal.
The word “know” here is the Greek word “genosko” meaning, to learn to know, come to know, get a knowledge of, perceive, feel, understand, to become known.  We want to be so much in the face of Jesus that we can’t help but to know Him and He can’t help but know us.  This knowing can be of the most intimate kind.  It is to know the resurrection out of the dead things of this world and this life. We become identified with Christ in every way even to sharing of His suffering and laying down our lives even unto death.  There are places in Christ some of us have only touched on, but Paul is telling us what the heart of a son of God really looks like.  It has the same intense love and purpose as the Son of God.  Partakers of the first resurrection are the one’s coming in Christ to set creation free.  Not all who are believers will be in this company.  Revelation 20:6 says, “Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.”
Christ is calling a people up  higher!  Catch the vision and the calling.  Like Paul, let us set our goal to pursue this high calling in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:15-16 goes on to say, “All of us 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. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”  Let us walk in what we have and know, but let us not be content to stay there.  Come people, let’s press in!  We have a goal before us.


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