“But this one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
A picture in the sports section of today’s newspaper depicted this verse in a dramatic way. Five men in a 100-meter race were pressing toward their goal with all their might. They all wanted to win the race. Their heads were bent forward, faces reflecting their determination and every muscle in their body was strained to win the race.
That picture also reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s life purpose: Pressing on to win the race.
As I pondered these verses, wondering what they meant for us, I looked in the Life Application Bible and found the following explanation:
“Our Goal as believers: We train ourselves to run the race of life. So we keep our eyes on Christ – the goal – and don’t get sidetracked or slowed down. When we do this, we will win a reward in Christ’s kingdom.
“Living the Christian life demands all of our energy. We can forget the past and strain for the goal because we know Christ promises eternity with Him at the end of the race.
“The Christian life is a fight against evil forces from without and temptations from within. If we stay true to God through it all, He promises an end, a rest and a crown.
“As we must repeat exercises to tone our bodies, so we must steadily repeat spiritual exercises to be spiritually fit. When we do this, we will be better Christians, living in accordance with God’s will. Such a life will attract others to Christ and pay dividends in this present life and the next.”
What are the spiritual exercises he is referring to?
Here are six, which form the acronym, GROWTH:
Go to God in prayer daily. (John 15:7)
Read God’s Word daily. (Acts 17:11)
Obey God moment by moment. (John 14:21)
Witness for Christ by your life and words. (Matthew 4:19)
Trust God for every detail of your life. (1 Peter 5:7)
Holy Spirit – allow Him to control and empower your daily life and witness. (Galatians 16, 17; Acts 1:8)
I challenge you to make these spiritual exercises a daily workout. Press on to win the heavenly goal.
Father, so often we focus more on exercising our physical body than exercising our spiritual life. Thank You for Your promise that You will help us do it. (Philippians 2:13) Help us become spiritually fit. Amen.
by Katherine Kehler
used by permission