“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me….
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.”
‘I press on.’ Twice in the context of two verses Paul uses this expression. It implies not stopping, not giving up, not resting on past achievements nor giving in because of past failures or shortcomings, but pushing onwards to the end. The picture is of an athlete who will not surrender but will finish the race.
Every athlete, particularly the long distance runners, will know all about the times when it would be so much easier to give up. Those times when each muscle and every emotion is crying out, ‘I can’t do it. I can’t take any more. I’ve had enough.’
Life, including the Christian life, has many challenges, temptations and trials. However, the Christian has Someone with them all the time, encouraging them, strengthening them, helping them up when they fall, reminding them of who they are and helping them to keep the goal in mind. You too can press on with Him until the time comes to say with deep satisfaction, “It is finished!”
In the world as it is where many have turned away, many have become luke-warm and many focus only on themselves – press on. Keep your eyes on the Lord, keep in His Way, keep the faith and remain one of His faithful ones’. Ask for and draw on His strength. And when you fall or fail, don’t hide your head but go to Him for love, encouragement and help.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” (Ephesians 3:16)
Whatever your pain barrier of the moment – ask God for help, strength, guidance and encouragement. He will see you through.
Lord Jesus, please help me not to give up on You, or on myself. Please continue to call me forward, guide me, strengthen me and encourage me.
“I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”