'PRESSING ON' towards our GOAL by FOCUSING on CHRIST: "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." (Phil 3:12-14)
In the above passage, Apostle Paul exhorts us that we must focus and prioritize on what matters most in our eternal future. We must not be distracted by lesser things that try to grab our attention every day. Rather, we must be focused on “one thing” which is a lifetime pursuit of becoming more like Jesus Christ, our ultimate model. God has already predestined us to be confirmed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29), and that is where we should focus all our energy during our lifetime.
We have a choice every day: either to look back at our failures, our disappointments, our struggles or to move forward by shedding every sin and weight that pulls us back in the race set before us (Heb. 12:1). As we move forward, we should focus our sight on our Lord Jesus Christ who has already set Himself as an example before us. He is both the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). Jesus truly is “the prize of the upward call of God” (v. 14). Let us seek to be shaped in the image of Christ as we look forward to spending eternity with Him!
Our “upward call of God in Christ Jesus” includes all the purposes that God had in mind in saving us. It includes salvation, conformity to Christ, a home in heaven, and numerous other spiritual blessings. Let us remember that our goal would be to finish our life’s journey fulfilling God's purposes for us. The prize awaiting us would be the crown of righteousness which God has already prepared for us!
This is what Apostle Paul tells us about himself towards the close of his life’s journey: "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing." (2 Tim 4:6-8)