Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14).
Around the first day of a new year, many of us will make resolutions we would like to achieve during that year. Some of us will vow to lose weight, to work on our temper, to spend more time with our children, or accomplish some other worthy endeavor. However, we seldom fulfill any of these well-intentioned resolutions. Instead, they are just added on top of our pile of failures from previous years.
Why do we so often fail to live up to our own resolutions? As for me, I fail because I rely on my human abilities or willpower to follow through. I even set myself up for a futile effort by remembering when I had failed before. I readily accept the fact that my human abilities are just too weak to conquer my insecurities and deficiencies. Apart from God’s power, I am unable to control my sinful nature and, therefore, I will falter when a test arises.
Instead of focusing on my past errors, I need to obey God and forget . . . “those things which are behind.” Instead of making promises based on my human ability, I need to begin this new year by praying for God’s will to be accomplished in my life. It truly is my desire to . . . “press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
To accomplish this desire of my heart, I need to press . . . “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” by studying His word and allowing it to empower my life. What better way to begin each new day and a new year?
Heavenly Father, I know that so often I go about my days depending on my own strength. However, today I kneel before You longing for Your will to be the only goal in my life. Thank you for Your word whereby I may learn more about You and Your Son, Jesus Christ. May you endow me with Your power to . . . “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen!