Loss is not something we seek. In fact, we do our best to avoid it, especially if it’s a good thing that we are losing. But in the kingdom, the loss of good in the earth is often the precursor to being found in Christ in His imputed righteousness, His intimate knowing, His powerful resurrection, fellowship in His suffering, and even conformity to His death. Why? To arrive experientially in His resurrection life.
The apostle Paul knew this to be true. In the third chapter of Philippians, he shares his heart, and why losing all to gain Christ was a better deal to him than keeping all he had gained. He considered all that He had gained as loss in order to gain Christ, even to the point of considering all things as loss for the excellence of knowing Christ, even counting them as rubbish.
In order to live in this truth daily, Paul made it his focus to press on to lay hold of that which Christ had laid hold of him. He lived with a view into eternity where His life had been apprehended by Christ, for Christ. He was determined to lay hold of what he had been apprehended for. I call this the “Let’s do this thing” attitude. Sometimes, it takes a raw determination to set you face as flint and determine, “I am going to lay hold of that for which I was laid hold.” “Let’s do this, Jesus, I am not turning back.”
To stay focused, Paul did only one thing. He forgot (put out of his mind) the things behind. He let go of the past in order to reach forward to those things ahead. This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. If we bring yesterday into today, we crowd out our tomorrow. There is no room for what’s ahead. Paul practiced forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things ahead.
What things? He pressed toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. He forgot the past, pressed toward what lay ahead – the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. There’s more!
Resurrection life! Oneness, unity, joy inexpressible and full of glory! All that Christ has laid hold of us for! It is all ahead of us in Christ. It is the goal for the prize of the upward call of God. The prize is the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, that God has for each of us – That, for which we have been laid hold. The goal comes from the Greek word “skopos” where we get our English word “skeptic.”
Pressing through, where skepticism has rooted itself in our soul, is a key. There, the upward call of God is found and the prize attained. Rather than avoiding the places of doubt, disappointment and death, we press toward it, seeing it as a goal, a mysterious entry point, that we have yet to understand. Finding Christ there, we take wind and soar upward in the calling of God.
[Tweet “Forgetting the past, reaching toward our future, we press through the skepticism and there find God again. We find Him there in His completeness and He is calling us.”]
“Come let us run together.”