Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

I’m Pressing On

path-and-lawn

One of my favorite books in the New Testament is Philippians and one of my favorite passages from that book is found in chapter 3. Paul writes,

Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.

When I read this passage I think about Paul’s past. He had done some terrible things. In another passage he refers to himself as the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). What we learn from this text in Philippians is that Paul did not dwell on his past mistakes. He did not allow his previous shortcomings to hold him back. He describes his life as “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” When Paul became a Christian he experienced a new beginning. He started on a new path and he did not look back. He pressed forward “toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.”

For many of us the new year is a new beginning. It is a fresh start. It is a time when we make changes in our life and seek to do what is right. All of us have made mistakes in our past. Those mistakes will hold us back if we allow them to do so. If we wallow in our previous sins, then we will never press forward to what is ahead of us. This new year we must learn from Paul’s example. We must live our lives “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead.” We must seek to be defined by “the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus,” and not by the events of our past. The most important thing in our lives is not our human frailties, but the fact that God is working within us to mold and shape us into the image of his Son. If we truly believe this, then this new year will be better than the last.

Well I’m pressing on
Yes, I’m pressing on
Well I’m pressing on
To the higher calling of my Lord

Bob Dylan “Pressing On”

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