In Phil; 3:10-14 Paul writes: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made comformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect; but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The word apprehended means to grasp hold of. God has grasped hold of me for the prize of his high calling in Christ Jesus. Do I understand what that high calling is? Have I grasped that for which I am grasped? This calling is above the importance of the office of a president, more important than the role of a monarch or prime minister. God has grasped me to live out my days on this planet to and for HIS GLORY. Have I, have you, really grasped hold of the tremendous high calling we have been grasped for; And what is the prize of that high calling in Christ Jesus that Paul encourages you and I to press toward the mark for? What is the prize for attaining to that mark?
Well to discover the answer to these questions I must first realise , like Paul that I haven’t arrived yet. I am not as far along as I think I am and I don’t hear the voice of God as clearly as I think I do. This is not a negative statement but a very positive statement, which keeps me in a place or position of safety where I believe I am still learning. Paul says ” forget the things that are behind, reach forward to the things that are in front of us”.
How many of us count experience, (the things that are behind) as something to depend on and something to exalt us in the eyes of others? Paul says all his past experience is but DUNG. (Phil 3:4-8) v 7 Those things that were gain to me, I count but loss.
Experience is the name we give to so many of our mistakes and whilst if we learn from them they do have a purpose in our lives, to continuously remember them can bring a sense of condemnation on ourselves. Paul says “forgetting those things which are behind, reaching for the things ahead, let us press toward the mark!”
Have I grasped that for which I am grasped?
The high calling is to live out my days to the Glory of God. But I must first be aware and understand what that means. The enemy of God’s glory (the credit due to His name) is my glory. (My pride, ego, flesh or self life.)
If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead, I must first die! This is not a coffin job but a daily dying to my own desires, my own way, my own will, my own glory.
This is where the rubber hits the road in practical christian living. The prize for attaining to the high calling of God on my life is the resurrection life of another. The Lord Jesus being manifest. But for this to take place God demands my death to self. No more unrighteous judgement of others, no more seeking my own will or way with others, no more ambitiously desiring and attaining to heights of ministry, no more murmering about circumstances and situations that I would like to change! All this has to be eradicated from my life if I am to grasp hold of the prize. All these things are related to the thing that God hates, my pride. Everyone that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: Prov 16:5.
So to sum up what we are saying. God has grasped me for His glory. Have I grasped that for which I am grasped?
To glorify God in my life. And if I am to attain to this and thereby receive the prize, this will manifest in the life of Jesus being evident and incidently I will enjoy the benefits of an ABUNDANT LIFE!