Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
What is your goal in life? Is it to provide for your family? Is it to land the right job? Is it to travel the world? Is it to be a certain size? What is your ultimate goal? If we all stopped and thought about that for a few minutes, we’d likely come up with various responses. Most of them would be very positive and uplifting goals. But are they what God wants us to focus on? According to Paul’s words to the Philippians, our ultimate goal in life should be to know and love Christ. I know you might be thinking – but what about my family, what about my career, what about my personal goals of perfecting me? Well those are great goals and I think they can be attained as well, but they shouldn’t be our number one goal in life.
Our first focus should be growing in relationship with Jesus Christ. Many things vie for our attention in life. Deadlines, money, climbing the cooperate ladder, having the latest gadget; lots of things distract us from our ultimate goal of knowing Jesus Christ. So what do we do? We must lay aside that which is harmful and forsake anything that distracts us from being effective Christians. Maybe that means turning off the TV, hanging up the phone when the conversation turns to gossip, or putting down those really cute shoes you think you have to have (yep that’s me talking).
We’ve all done things we are ashamed of and don’t want to think about ever again. Well lay them aside friends. Drop them at the feet of Jesus, asking for His love and forgiveness, then forgive yourself and move on. Focus on that ultimate prize of having an eternal relationship with the One who never leaves us, forsakes us, and loves us unconditionally. Focus on that prize and hopefully the other things will fall into place. Your family will be uplifted, your career choices will be the choices the Lord wants you to make, your travels may involve more missionary work, and everything else that you thought was so very important becomes minuscule in the glory of our Lord.
Help us Lord to set aside the things that tend to take time away from a growing relationship with You. Help us Lord to trust that You will bring the things in our life that we need to focus on and make the others less and less. We pray God that You will help us to focus on our ultimate goal of having a growing relationship with You and spending eternal life with you. Amen.