“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also i was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:12
Last year was a good year. The Lord faithfully and graciously saw me through another year of marriage, motherhood, grand-mothering, and women’s ministry. But I must be honest in that as I look back on 2016, there were many moments and even days where I did not live up to my best spiritually. There were times when my thought life was anything but holy, and my behavior fell radically short of being Christlike. Like every other New Year however, if find myself infused with new hope for 2017.
I love the stories of men and women whose faith in God carried them through the seemingly impossible and utterly unthinkable. These saints of old are my hero’s and mentors.
But what about our reality? We have a holy desperation to want to be like our spiritual mentors, but in reality there are some days we’re just hanging on.
You and I may not be required to build an ark, sit in a den of lions or be burned alive on a stake. We live in different times and our reality looks very different… but here’s the sobering truth.
This life and our reality is the platform God has given us to glorify Him. I believe there still can be an all out abandon, a radical faith that is not dampened by circumstances or deterred by culture. A faith like Paul that can say, “I believe God”! A living faith when a thousand voices contradict, takes its stand and say’s, ” let God be found true”.
When you look at things as they are, they can seem to stand awfully strong against what God says they can be. But faith in the here and now means, courage when there’s an opportunity to compromise, holding strong when others are selling out, and choosing integrity before image.
I love the English Standard version of what Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
Another word for “lay hold” is EMBRACE. Paul wanted to embrace “all” that God had for him on this side of heaven. In his reality he was going to drain every ounce out of why Jesus had saved him and called him. Paul was determined never to let his circumstances be his excuse to settle for anything less than knowing Christ and making Him known. Being in prison (for the gospel), being shipwrecked (to carry the gospel to others), being rejected, persecuted or living with the thorn in his flesh, Paul was going to press in and press on for Christ’s sake.
Despite my failures of last year, I’m going to press on. There’s so much more to embrace as I desire to live the life God has given me for His glory. By His Spirit, I have hope!
Ladies, let’s not miss out on all of God’s good and acceptable and perfect will for our lives. Let’s lay hold of the life we have in the here and now?
This is the life, and now is the time, that God is publishing His story through you and me.