Phil 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
One of the blessings of celebrating a New Year is in allowing it to be a focus point of our faith for a fresh start, getting back on track with God, or making a course correction. We don’thave to wait until December 31st at 11:59 PM and wait for the countdown for it to be January 1st. We can obey the Bible at any time and get back on track at any time. Lamentations 3:21-23 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”
No matter where you are with God in your walk I believe you can get back on track by applying the principles the Apostle Paul shared with the Believers at Philippi in Philippians 3:12-14.
1. PURSUE GOD’S PURPOSE v. 12
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
You are not an accident or a mistake. God never saved the wrong person. Purpose is the original intent of God and His intended use for our life. The Apostle Paul is at at the end of his ministry years and yet he is still wanting to understand why God apprehended him. Knowing our purpose helps us make determinations as to our use of time, the relationships we allow into our lives, and where to focus using the gifts we’ve been given.
2. NEGLECT FEEDING THE PAST MEMORIES AND FOCUS ON YOUR FUTURE v.13
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”
Many get stuck in the enslaving memory of something in their past that was extremely painful. That one moment in their history can rob a person of the future God has for them. Their memories smother their dreams. God can heal those hurts but part of the healing comes as we forget what is behind and reach for what is before us. Forgetting isn’t erasing the memory or coming to a place where we cannot retrieve the memory like amnesia. It is neglecting to feed the memory by continually re-feeling the pain of it and displacing it with God’s purpose and plan. Like Joseph in the Old Testament in Genesis 50:14-21where he was able to remember what his brothers did but he could retrieve the memory without the pain. He focused on God’s purpose. God also gave him two children whose names reveal a powerful truth. His first son was Manasseh which means “to forget,” his second son was Ephraim which means “to be fruitful.” Forgetting comes first; fruitfulness will follow.
3. CHASE AFTER IT ENERGETICALLY v. 14
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
To press means to do something with intense effort, to move quickly and energetically toward some objective. It carries the idea of running swiftly after someone or something in order to catch it or catch up to it. God’s purpose takes our cooperation and diligent pursuit for it to come to pass. It is not automatic or like the world calls fate.