Making the Decision
Pushing Me Deeper
Scripture: Philippians 3:12
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
There are two important truths taught in the third chapter of Philippians that relate to the fourth beatitude. First, the Apostle Paul transparently shares that he is “pressing on” and “straining” to obtain all God has for him, but that he hasn’t gotten there yet. In other words, he is “hungering and thirsting” for God’s righteousness on a continual basis. As we have been talking about the fourth beatitude, we have learned that it is those who feel a deep need for the Bread of Heaven that are filled. I believe the Apostle Paul is now telling us that this feeling of neediness is a natural part of our on-going growth in Christ. The “filling” is somewhat temporary in that as we keep digging deeper into the things of God, we want more and more.
The second truth I want to point out is not printed in today’s devotional. It is the very next verse (Philippians 3:15), which states: All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. After Paul is honest enough to admit that he has not obtained all the spiritual levels he has been describing, he still characterizes himself, and all others who feel this way, as mature. For Paul, these feelings of need, the sense of hungering for more of God, are all part of a mature Christ follower’s life. The evil one often makes us feel less than spiritual because of these same feelings. He plants thoughts in us that say we ought to always feel satisfied or good about our journey with God. No…it is our dissatisfaction or our “thirsting” that drives us to “press on and strain” for more of God. Next time you are feeling needy for God…needy for more strength – stop and lift a prayer of praise. Remember Jesus’ words: “Happy are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness!”
Father, I give you permission to draw me deeper into your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.