Over the last two days we have used the terms WILD DOGS and CHICKEN POOP to see Paul’s passion in Philippians 3 to know Christ more fully. Today we see that as a result of Paul’s passion, there are four principles needed if we are going to make to progress toward the same goal and passion in our lives today (v12-16).
Never LET Down (v12) – “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Jesus Christ.”
Paul knew that he had not yet received all of God’s blessings. Paul knew that there was still areas where spiritual growth was needed. Paul still had much to learn to grow even nearer to Christ. So do we. But sometimes we get so spiritually puffed up that we think we have arrived and we quit striving to know Christ even more.
Never LOOK Back (v13) – “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.”
Paul did not let his past mistakes control his present ministry. Paul had much to feel guilty about and much to make him feel unworthy to serve the Lord. But Paul wouldn’t look back at his failures and shortcomings. Many of us quit growing in our knowing Christ because we can’t forgive ourselves for past sins that God has already granted us forgiveness concerning.
Never LOSE Sight (v14) – “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul would continue to give a vigorous and concentrated pursuit to becoming more like Christ. He wasn't interested in earthly rewards but rather in eternal rewards. Many of us do not continue to excel in knowing Christ because we are preoccupied with earthly rewards.
Never LONE It (v15-17) – “Let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.”
During the days of the American Revolution, Ben Franklin said, “We must all hang together or assuredly we will hang separately”. Paul understood that if he was going to press on toward the goal of knowing Christ better he would need to seek the support of those who have the same commitment and common goal (v17). Do we understand that or are we “hanging separately”?
Here is the bottom line…Watch out for WILD DOGS! Avoid CHICKEN POOP! Never LET Down! Never LOOK Back! Never LOSE Sight! And never LONE It!