My Goal: “This One Thing I Do”

“Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.  I press on toward the goal, for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13-14).

What is Paul saying?  “I’ve not arrived.  I’m still holding on.  I have a bulldog grip on “it.”  If we back up three verses, we discover what “it” is.

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead.  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” (3:1-12).  “It” is the power of the resurrection — one day meeting Jesus face to face.

Remember, we are a work in progress.  We all have issues that still need to be addressed. John Wesley’s theological summary still remains true: “I’m saved, I’m being saved, and I shall be saved.” Only when we meet Jesus face to face will we be perfect. Heaven is our ultimate reward! One day we will know Him because of the power of His resurrection. Jesus said in John 5:28-29, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice, and will come forth, those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” The same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead, will also raise us up. We will know Him as He is.  When we get to heaven, we won’t have to guess which One Jesus is. We will know Him!  

So, in the meantime, we are determined to press on towards our goal.  There’s never time to coast in the kingdom of God. Paul said, “I lay hold.”  In other words, “I’m not letting go.  Jesus got hold of me and I’m holding on to Him.” Paul’s conversion was for both time and eternity.  After Paul was saved on the Road to Damascus, his life was never again the same.  Mediocrity would never attach itself to this apostle of Christ.

As Christians, it should be our desire and single intent to love the Lord with all our hearts. Sometimes the urgent things in life have to give way to the things that are really important.  Paul understood this and revealed that “it” happens only when we understand the required two-part dynamic. “This one thing I do.”  

Forgetting what lies behind

Reaching forward to what lies ahead

Sometimes good things have to be set aside or renounced for the best. That’s what the coronavirus pandemic did for me.  

This demands a singleness of purpose, a sole objective — one aim.  Paul was a man, who having met the Lord Jesus that day in the dirt, set his face as flint, to press on for the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. James reminds us that a double-minded man is unstable in all things and David gives us a beautiful picture of a man after God’s own heart.  All point to the fact that a man with a single aim is a man God can use.  And that single aim is to carry out the will of God throughout our days.

My friend, you were born with an assignment on your life from God. Jesus in His high priestly prayer said, “I have finished the course (assignment) you gave me to do.”  Paul, just days before his execution said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my race (assignment), I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

Paul was determined to finish with excellence and to never allow mediocrity to sideline him. Not so with the complacent Christian. He does not have the urgency to be about his Father’s business, and the proud believer has an alternate agenda. Those who become lukewarm seem indifferent to their spiritual growth. But the child of God who seeks to lift up the Lord Jesus and to glorify His name is jealous of the task ahead, and resolutely sets his eye on his final goal.  

Such a one does not rest on his laurels but strains his spiritual muscles. He puts his body under subjection, wisely manages his time, remains focused on his eventual prize, employs his talents, and fine tunes his actions and attitude for the glory of God. Such a man keeps his eyes on the goal of his calling, as he runs the race of life through its many pitfalls and problems.  

Such a man trusts the Lord with all his heart and understands that God’s grace is sufficient for all his needs.  He lays aside all other considerations and presses on to finish the task the Lord has given him to do — knowing that Christ is his sufficiency and his strength.  

Paul, once again says, “This one thing I do…”

Forgetting the past

Pressing toward the future

Sometimes we look backwards, rather than single-mindedly looking forward to the goal of our calling. May we with bulldog tenacity set our hearts to keep moving forward, in the power of His Spirit, to His praise and glory!

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