“I’m not saying 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” (Philippians 3:12-14, MSG).
This section of Philippians is one of the most famous passages Paul wrote. We usually hear sermons focusing on the goal-reaching part, but often overlook where he was reaching from. Paul wasn’t dictating this in his church office, coffee in hand. He wrote it in prison. These lines were part of his growing experience of loving and pursuing God with all his heart, regardless of his circumstances. He wasn’t writing from a place of mastery as some guru, but from his journey as a beloved child of God.
He was saying that though we aren’t perfect, and life isn’t often easy, we can be encouraged, because where we’re headed with Jesus is so worth it. Don’t fall into comparing your progress against someone else’s. They’re on their own journey, with their own destiny, talents, gifts, and experiences. No matter your present circumstances, stay focused on who God is for you, and be renewed, restored, strengthened, encouraged, confident, and determined.
We don’t keep reaching forward because we’re desperately hoping to finally make it to a place of peace and rest. In Jesus, we’re becoming peace, and can’t help but joyfully and tenaciously keep reaching forward to touch everyone we can with it.