Exploring Philippians | Pressing On | Philippians 3.7-11 | Movementministriesblog.com 

by | Jun 11, 2022

“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. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3.12-14

I was no great athlete in high school. My wife, my kids, my dad and my sister were very accomplished high school athletes. But I wasn’t. I turned to sports writing instead and found that my love of sports could be through writing about the success of others. I wrote my monthly article in the Coyote News newspaper of Wichita Falls High School. My column, “Tracking the Pack,” covered the back page which was great for my development. I enjoyed writing features about those whose accomplishments on and off the field would inspire others.

When I read the words of Paul about ”pressing on toward the goal to win the prize,” I think of sports analogies. The entire Faith Sports Institute at George W. Truett’s Theological Seminary uses sports to spread the Gospel. Paul’s ”pressing on to win the goal” analogy makes me think of Olympic athletes on the track running towards the finish line. Striving to accomplish that which they have pursued for years.

Paul admits this is not something he has already accomplished, but is striving to take hold of that ”for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” What that might be? Salvation? Redemption? Forgiveness? Union with the Father? Holiness of heart and life? All of this and more. Paul’s striving is not unlike a swimmer reaching to touch the end of the pool first, or a high jumper seeking just a few more inches of flight. We as Christians are to be spiritual athletes in which we train our bodies, discipline our minds, ready our hearts in order that we might press on toward the goal to “take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Jesus has taken hold of Paul and he wants to take hold of us. He wants us to know us and thus for us to know the Father. He wants us to run towards the goal, to finish the race, to win the prize.

“O Lord God, I desire to do great things for you. But you want me to simply know you. To love you, to find you faithful. You call us to greater and higher ideals in holiness and in love. Come now, Holy Spirit, help us know the power of your love and the truth in your grace. As I run this race of life, help me to win the prize of walking with you today and for eternity. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen