We Press On!
Updated: Apr 8
2021 is now part of our history and we have entered a new one. The new year offers a fresh start. And more than half of us, will begin this year by promising to do better, so, we plan. A plan is a detailed proposition for achieving our goal. For instance, we plan for our vacation to have some much-needed rest. We plan to complete our educational program to better our life. We plan to secure a mortgage to get our dream house. We plan to move to another company to get a better pay. We plan for almost anything because we have a certain goal to achieve.
But the goal of every believer is not to become like the world, but to be like Jesus. The Bible tells us, “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 3:13-14. The Bible tells us that God does not want us to dwell in the past, because that will hinder us from pressing on to reach our goal of becoming like Jesus. And given the chaotic world that we find ourselves in, how do we do that? I’m suggesting three things and the first is that…
1. Put God in charge of your plan.
“3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. 4 The Lord works out everything to its proper end - even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Proverbs 16:3-4.
· Commit means “to roll” in Hebrew. It gives us the idea of completely giving everything over to the Lord, in complete dependence to Him for the outcome.
· More than we want to admit, we to want to be in control, because we want to set the direction of our life. So, we plan without asking God for direction.
· God has already a plan for you and the rest of the world.
· Sometimes, unconsciously, we assert ourselves, not really being mindful that as we do, we are taking back the control from God.
· The reason: Our culture has built in us the habit of assertiveness.
· The remedy: Ask God to help you trust His ways and His timing. Fill your mind with His words that you may know how to align your plan to His.
2. Make your life much more about God and others.
“3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” James 4:3.
· Don’t make life much about yourself because it will only cause you to miss out on God’s wonderful blessings.
· What is a good motive? A good motive is not self-centered but centers on God and others.
· You are the person that God placed in your home, workplace or business, and community to represent Him and achieve His goal of making Jesus known through you.
3. Plan to put on your new you.
“10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:10.
· This new self refers to the new life that came along with God’s gift of salvation.
· The new life is a contrast to the old life before we come to believe in Jesus as the son of God and the Messiah.
· The “new you” yearns for more, not less, of the Lord.
· The new self has the Holy Spirit residing in it. 16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”” 1 Corinthians 3:16
· Like wearing clothes, every day we decide to put on the new self. But how can we practically put on the new self?
“23 Above all else, guard your heart,for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
· In the Bible, the heart commonly refers to the mind.
· The mind is the center of our thoughts and emotions. The heart affects our speech, our attitude and conduct in life. Our words and behavior reveal what is deposited in our heart.
· The condition of our heart is revealed by the words we accept and speak.
· The remedy: “2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2.
· Our identity rests in the Lord. We are God’s children, and we should behave like one.