Fresh from encouraging the Philippians to pursue relationship with Jesus, and, ultimately, the resurrection from the dead, Paul now brings things firmly back to earth. He writes that he has not already obtained this, nor is he already perfect, but he is working as hard as he possibly can to make his relationship with Jesus, and therefore his resurrection from the dead, his own (v.12).
To reinforce his humanity Paul reiterates and says that he has not already achieved this (v.13a), but he is looking ever-forward and running towards relationship and the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (v.14, cf. Luke 9.62).
The takeaway for us has to be Paul’s attitude.
He goes to great lengths – and uses strong vocabulary – to tell the saints at Philippi that he knows he has not already arrived in his life of faith, and that if they are mature, they ought to think this way too (v.15). The feeling of arrival, of settling for how things are, of not having the desire to forget what was and always be moving towards what will be, is honestly, a plague on your faith life. How do you avoid it? Well, the same way that you train and workout your physical self to stay physically healthy, you need to train and workout your spiritual self to stay spiritually healthy. Consider these questions today;
- Do I have a daily time of Christ-centred Bible reading?
- Do I have a daily time of prayer, either personally or with others, preferably both?
- What is the master passion of my life, what am I really pursuing?
- Am I too comfortable with how things are? – v.13a
- Am I straining towards what will be? – v.13b
- Do I have interaction, accountability, and unity with other believers in my life? – v.16