Staying on Track
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it. Philippians 3.12-16 (MSG)
A Word of Hope
At some point most of us church folk consciously decide that we wish to live lives that are different and better, because we intend and desire God to be part of our lives. This may happen gradually and quietly or dramatically, but once we make a start on the Christian journey, life is rarely the same again.
But in “reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out” for us, there are also often unanticipated consequences. Being a Christ-follower is never a passive activity, where you just coast along and all is just sweetness and light. Being a Christ-follower can be demanding, inconvenient, and costly, and it definitely requires more than simple occasional church attendance. In fact, if you originally were considering “something less than total commitment,” you have certainly reckoned incorrectly. As Paul says, “God will clear your blurred vision,” and get you back on track, because God has plans for you.
God is counting on those who have said “yes” to Jesus, in the same way that a parent expects a lot from a child. That’s what happens when love is involved. For us that means active engagement in service, prayer, study (to learn more about God), worship, and giving (which is not just about money – it is a way that we share our love and do God’s work). Why must we do these things? Because through such actions we are continually transformed and grow closer to God.
Paul knew that the Christian journey required striving, and that we all get tired. But one of the wonderful aspects about how we practice our faith is that we do so in community. When one of us falters, becomes fatigued, or frustrated, when we think this Christian journey is just too demanding…we siblings in the community are there to say, “Yes, you can!” Or “Don’t miss this, you really will benefit!” Or, “You’ll be blessed by it, I know you will!” It is our job to encourage, nudge, and celebrate with our fellow Christian journeyers.
By God’s grace, we are on the right track. When the road gets bumpy, remember that you only have to look over your shoulder and a fellow trekker is right next to you ready and willing to lend support and blessing.
Gracious God, we acknowledge that it is you who provides the light for our faith journeys, and we could not persevere without love that light brings forth. Give us strength to continually strive for total commitment as Christ-followers, and help us to share with one another the courage that you inspire within us. -In Jesus’ name, Amen.