The Apostle Paul wrote, “No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us.”
This ONE thing?
It is a daunting challenge—bringing ALL your energies to bear on just one thing.
I mean, think about it.
Think about how fragmented our lives have become—how fragmented our focus. Think about the broken things in your past, the divided attentions of your present, not to mention the veiled mysteries of your future, try to take in all of that, and then bring it all down to JUST ONE THING.
There’s Paul’s challenge.
And may I submit to you—there is Christ’s challenge to every Believer who calls himself or herself—a disciple.
Jesus Christ, first and preeminent.
And me, focused, singular, and without excuses.
The book of Hebrews says,
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; [vs. 1-2]
I submit to you, laying aside every weight is a very costly proposition. You will have to leave many treasures behind. You will have to surrender ones you dearly cherish.
Yes, to take up His cross is very costly.
But what else can you do when you finally realize…
You can’t run—with them?
And He is the One calling you to leave all, and follow.
But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile—now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith—counting on Christ alone. Now I have given up everything else—I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the mighty power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.
I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.
No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be, but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:7-14 TLB