Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not county myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The entire Christian life is called a walk. This means it’s a journey – a progression. If we aren’t moving or changing, something is wrong. As a church we need to keep moving into new areas and this means developing, adjusting, increasing and expanding. David took the nation forward to conquering all their enemies and making Israel and the city of Jerusalem a major force in the Earth. Then his son Solomon took it even further. The church got stuck in Jerusalem, even after the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but after the persecution became scattered throughout the entire Earth.
Jesus said, “Go” – It’s two thirds of God’s name.
Here are some keys that can help us to keep moving forward;
We set our will and our determination to move forward. We decide we are not remaining where we are, but we are going to press forward.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
You need to get started. If you get knocked down, get up again. If you’re stuck, it’s time to move forward. When a satellite is launched into space it consumes around 95% of its fuel at take off to get it orbit. Do something. If you’re doing nothing, nothing is going to happen. If you do something, something is going to happen. You have to both make and do the decision. The initial action is of no consequence at all if you don’t make the decision a commitment.
Understand there is a purpose that Jesus Christ has laid hold of you for. You are to fulfil a great destiny and purpose for your life to resource the kingdom of God.
“That I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
All world changers have one thing in common. They believe they have a meaning in their life. They believe God has called them to do something. We are here not just to change this world in our life time, but to be a part of a community of believers that changes peoples worlds for eternity.
3. We Need To Move On From Where We Have Been
Philippian 3:13 Brethren, I do not county myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.
If it’s failure, then we need to use it as teaching moment, not as a message that we are a failure. Failure doesn’t make you a failure. If it’s an offence then we need to get over it and move forward. We must forgive and let go. If we have lost connection with God through sin, through discouragement, doubt, fear, we are slipping and sliding backwards on the inside. This will mean we are also slipping and sliding in our circumstances in life. We may be spinning our wheels, but we have no traction, we have no momentum.
Know that there is a day when a prize, a reward is prepared for you.
Philippians 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The call of God is an upward call, you will move forwards and upwards when you are following the guidance of God. Diligence is a key to this reward.
Isaiah 60:17 Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver, instead of wood, bronze, and instead of stones, iron.
When we continually upgrade in our character and nature, the same effect begins to happen in our circumstances. It is God’s purpose to change your iron for silver and your silver for gold.
Let God speak to you about your thinking. Let Him speak to you about what you imagine, what you dwell on, the spirit and attitude of your mind. God will adjust our expectation;
Isaiah 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.
“Instead of” can also mean there are things we are doing that slow us down, steal our energy and resources, things we need to stop doing. What you dwell on is often a reflection of the people you are connected to.
Wise men followed a star and it led them to Jesus. Follow the bright light, not the negativity. Follow the healing not the sickness. Follow the answer not the problem. Focus on what’s right, not what’s wrong. Join yourself to progressive, positive people who are moving forward. Disconnect yourself from people going backwards, dying and losing their way. Get on the same page as the leadership, and let go of your own agenda. Even if you think it’s big, it’s not as big as the one you’ll achieve with everyone else on board. Make the church’s vision your vision, rather than trying to get the church to buy into your vision
6. Hold Your Ground
Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
The key to moving forward is to build on what you have already learned and attained. I’ve found the keys to build on the platform God has helped you build to this point, not to try and begin an entirely new thing from the start. We don’t start new churches the way we started this one. We use the resources we have to begin new congregations. You have to fan whatever is on fire.
The object of intimidation is to restrain you from action, and overwhelm you with a sense of inferiority or fear. It will cause us to shrink back, second guess yourself and doubt your own ability, to feel confused, discouraged or frustrated. Intimidation can also come as a direct spiritual attack. We may find that whenever we go to step out to do something new or something we feel like God has called us to do – we get struck by feelings of being overwhelmed, feelings of inadequacy. We can also be intimidated by our circumstances. We can be intimidated by our past. Sometimes the devil will continually bring up our past sins or failures as a reason why we can’t step out and serve God. The antidote to intimidation is boldness, and true boldness comes from God and is the fruit of a life that is right before God.
Keep your focus on your positives, not the negatives. Keep everyone around focused on the goal, the positive, inevitable outcome of your faith.
See you in church!