I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.~Bruce Lee
In her book Run to Win, Christine Caine talks about how marathon runners keep their focus on the goal, the finish line. In the above verse, Paul uses an awesome term I want to look at and add to what Christine was saying. That phrase is pressing on. Pressing on is the determination to keep our eyes on the goal and not let go. Pressing on keeps us moving forward and not dropping out of the race. Pressing on is the godly choices we make in our part and God blesses with His part. With every godly choice you make, God increases your maturity and you begin to grow. There are 3 press on moments that we should use in our lives and Paul does a great job of outlining them in the above verse.
The first press on moment is that of pressing on to perfection. The ultimate goal to aim for is perfection. As Bruce Lee in the above quote mentions, goals are not always meant to be achieved they are there to shoot for. Perfection in the Bible means maturity. If we are growing, we are pressing on to perfection. Sinless perfection is not gained until the afterlife. We are still in the flesh and the flesh will always be a part of us until we pass on. Pressing on to perfection happens in the now, the present. I has nothing to do with the past and everything to do with the future. Our first press on moment happens now, growth is not something you wait for, it’s taking action now for your life and making correct godly choices.
Our next press on moment happens when we are looking back. Paul says to forget the past. That does not mean completely forgetting it from your mind, that is impossible, it means starting fresh. We all learn from hurts, pains, and embarrassments. If you stay in those hurts and pains how can you move forward in your life? When you are running the race how can you see the goal coming if you are looking back? A runner has to keep his eyes forward when running. It reminds me of a friend I work with, he was out running one day, and his neighbor being neighborly yelled “hey” to him. He turned to wave at the neighbor and took his eyes off the road ahead. He missed the crack sticking up and totally tripped, did not see it coming and wiped the concrete with his face. I don’t have to tell you he looked like he was in a major fight afterward. Running over that crack would have been a fond memory of an obstacle he avoided, but instead he didn’t keep his eyes forward, so it tripped him up. If we allow our past to control us we will continually trip and make the wrong choices that will slow our growth.
The last press on moment is all about the goal. It’s all about the future. Understand one thing here, our goals sometimes don’t line up with what God’s future is for us. That doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong track, it means we are growing, experiencing failure and pressing on to that goal God has for us. I can’t tell you how many “great ideas” I have had in my life that are “perfect” and I just knew they were “God’s will.” Sometimes I would allow them to get the best of me and let the fear flow. The reality of the situation is this, it’s not really failure, but a hindrance. Hindrances are God allowed things that are designed to teach us trust, not fear, and not failure. True failure happens when you just give up on it all. Press on through the hindrance and find the glory God has in store for you.
Press on is the determination we need to achieve the godly goal God has planned for you. Past hurts and present pains should not keep us from the awesome future goal that we will achieve with the press on.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.