Saturday, March 8, 2014

Move Forward - Lenten Journey Day 4


Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: 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.” Philippians 3:13-14”

So over the last few days my phone and I have been on very VERY bad terms.  I mean, this is an all-out, “man vs. the machine”, Battle Royale over my calendar. 

I think it’s possessed.

Seriously.

By some obnoxious, stubborn, time-changing, demon.

Here’s the scenario…

I set up a meeting on my calendar at, let’s say, 11:00 am.  Save it. Done. Right? Wrong.

It’s fine for about 15 seconds (just long enough for me to look away, mind you) and then BAM, my phone changes it to 10:00 am.  You either think I’m joking or are laughing. 

I laughed the first time, but after about a half-dozen times, I was ready to turn my phone into a Frisbee out the window.

Just pure evil.
And since Holy Water is out of the question for electronics, I found only one solution.
I had to move all my scheduled appointments forward.
Voila! 
Phone still changes it, but at least NOW they are at the time they are supposed to be.

This morning as I sat here frustrated about my phones relentless desire to keep moving back, it was as if I heard God chuckle, “now you know how I feel with you sometimes”.

Touché.

In Philippians, Paul identifies a key trait for us as believers and Christ’ disciples: the ability to move forward.
Our walk with God is a journey.  A “journey”, implies movement and progress. 
I've never seen a journey happen in one place.  Have you? That’s called stagnation.

We have trouble moving forward sometimes. 

The past is like my old pair of shoes that my sister had to hijack and throw away because I wouldn't let them go.  They were SOOO out of style, but they were comfortable.  The funny thing is, after the “abduction” I had to admit that those shoes didn't even fit who I was anymore.  Thanks sis.

Sometimes past hurt sits on us so long, we mold ourselves around the pain.
Sometimes we become so reliant on a person, place, or object that in fear we cling to them for comfort rather than leaning on God.
We’re like my stubborn phone. 

And, not just when it comes to the “bad stuff” of regrets or failures.  Paul was also speaking to the “good” and the successes.  Earlier in chapter 3 he says, ”whatever were gains to me, I now consider a loss” (v. 7).  You know, those “good old days” you keep dwelling on?  That relationship?  Those stories that usually being with “back in my day I was (insert your magnificence here)”. 

Yeah, all those…..

God is trying to set us up for the future and we keep moving back.

I’m not going to threaten to throw you out the window, but I would like to encourage you.
MOVE FORWARD.

I used to wonder why God didn’t just drop Jesus onto the earth in some “Star Trek-Beam-Me-Down-Daddy” sort of way and let him go to work.   There are many reasons for this, but I think that from his very birth, Christ was providing an example.  Like Jesus, we were babes.  Those years were just as critical to his life as the last three years he spent with the disciples in ministry.  But like him, we must grow, mature, and move forward.

Ask God for courage and discernment.

Is He calling you to a new job?  A new area of ministry? Away from the past?

Seasons change.  Don’t fight it.  Just spring forward. 

Let us pray (adaptation of Philippians 3):  Father, I realize my helplessness in saving myself, and I glory in what Christ Jesus has done for me. I let go and put aside all my past success and failures, counting them worth less than nothing, so that I can receive the full power of Christ.

I will not deny the past, but put it into proper perspective as those things that are behind. I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in this body, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.

I want to know Jesus Christ and the power of His resurrection. So, whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life that Jesus died to give me.

I don’t mean to say that I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Jesus Christ saved me for and wants me to be.

Today, I turn from my past and focus all my energies on this one thing; I look forward to what lies ahead. I press forward to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which You have called me.  In Jesus Name, Amen

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