“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. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”
The start of a new year is often the time many of us use as a ‘reset’ for our life: a time to add things we know we need to add or to subtract things we know we need to subtract. The only problem, often our New Year’s resolutions don’t make it through the year. In fact, 80% of all resolutions never make it until February! What’s the answer? Do away with all hopes and dreams of becoming better? Be content with being mediocre? (Btw- mediocre literally means halfway, I think the book of Revelation speaks about being HOT or COLD but the halfway guy or gal will be spit out of God’s mouth).
The Apostle Paul is going to help us to make lasting change. I think we can all agree he knew a thing or two about life transformation. When you go from persecuting the church to the church’s greatest missionary, that’s quite a big switch. The Holy Spirit is the great change agent dwelling in the Christian, but there are things we can do to partner with Him to bring about change.
#1 Realize God is continuing to call you higher:
“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
#2 What ONE thing can you add or subtract from your life that will make a difference.
Remember, small changes over long periods of time lead to big changes.
“Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do”
#3 What damaging thought patterns do you need to leave behind in 2020? What grudges, unforgiveness, insecurities, or past failures are you dragging into another year? Leave the past in the past so that you can move onward and upward. (Can we agree Paul had to actively do this- as he was personally responsible for the murder and persecution of Christians and Christ Himself)
“forgetting what lies behind….”
#4 What do you need to do to ‘win the day’?
“….straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal….”
The Greek word for ‘what lies ahead’ literally means what is directly in front of you. Therefore, we win today, what’s right in front of us, and we leave tomorrow in God’s hands. If you win enough TODAYS, tomorrows will take care of themselves.
#5 Look for people winning in the areas you want to improve and get around them.
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.”