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.
Read: Philippians 3:10-14
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
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.
The Christian journey is more often than not a long distance race. This is particularly true because of the long life that our Heavenly Father has promised us (Psalm 91:16). We therefore need a lot of patience to run the race. Apostle Paul in today’s Bible reading gives insight on the nature of the race we are engaged in. It is a non-stop marathon. Once you start, you cannot go on sabbatical leave. Because you are already grafted into Jesus Christ once you start the race, you must ensure that you don’t pull yourself away from Him who first ran this race and finished well (Hebrew 12:2). How do we sustain the tempo and determination to finish well? Paul answers this question in Philippians 3:13-14:
“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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Many Christians live in the glory of their past achievements, and this has resulted in their undoing. The various indictments Jesus levelled against the seven Churches in Asia in Revelation 2-3, should be food for thought for all end-time Christians. In the past, when a Christian mistakenly said something that was not untrue but also not 100% true, he quickly corrected himself with an apology. For example, in the days when my father-in-the-Lord was still alive, I remember travelling to Ilesa, a city in south-west Nigeria, and forgetting to buy some oranges along the way as I used to. I remembered after I got to Lagos and quickly bought some in Lagos. I gave them to my father-in-the-Lord and he asked if I bought the oranges on my way. I said “Yes sir”. Immediately, the Holy Spirit rebuked me that I was not telling the whole truth.
I bought them on the way, yes, but not on the way from Ilesa as the old man meant to ask. I quickly corrected myself and he exclaimed “Holy Spirit!” in adoration of the Holy Spirit’s rebuke of love. Today, many children of God tell lies with impunity and they do not feel the pain of lying, even against the Holy Spirit. Their first love is all gone. Be warned that the race is not over yet. Ezekiel 18:24 says:
“But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”
Father, please uphold me to the very end of my Christian race.
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