I was so excited to get back into some sort of schedule today!
I got my Bible out. I put my praise and worship music on sat down for a great time with the Lord.
It is time for me to read through Philippians again. I decided I would read the whole book in one setting today and then study it out the rest of the week. So, I am reading happily along, being reminded of my favorite verses as I pass through them.
What was that?
Who put that verse there?
Has that ALWAYS been there?
I re-read this little hidden verse and there it still was!
Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:16
How have I missed this before?
I just love it when I find a new "treasure"! And today was no exception!
In Philippians 3, Paul is telling the Philippians that we should have no confidence in our flesh. He then goes on to encourage them to "press on to the goal" that Christ has called us to. Then right there he hid this little sentence in there.
The whole paragraph reads this way:
12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, 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, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.
The Message version puts it this way:
12I'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. 13Friends, 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. 14I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. 15So 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! 16Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.
So what is it Paul is telling us and the Philippians?
Basically - don't back track. Press on and don't go backward. Don't dwell in the past. Don't lose spiritual ground you have already gained, just go forward in your relationship with Christ! Did God give you a victory over that area in your life that you have s-l-o-w-l-y allowed your flesh to fall back into? When God places you on a certain track, stay there and don't go backwards.
I don't know why that verse struck me so hard today. Maybe sometimes it is easy to get comfortable and a little too casual with spiritual things when we are out of our routine. Maybe I need to "LIVE UP" to what I "have already attained". Maybe I need to get back to where He placed me.
As I began reflecting on this verse today in my devotion time, the Holy Spirit, in His perfect way began revealing to me ways that I have not "lived up" to what I have already won.
At the same time, my ipod was playing a song about the Holiness of God.
Thank you Lord that you love me the way I am and that you love me enough to not let me stay that way!
I pray you allow the Holy Spirit to do a progress check in your heart. It's not always fun, but you sure come out better when He is finished!