Philippians 3:12 – “I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason He made me His.”
Are you perfect? Are you living a life without mistakes? If not, have you given up or are you still growing, becoming the person God created you to be?
This verse in Philippians is one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles tell us of two kings, Jeroboam and Rehoboam, who lived flawed lives – lives outside of the will of God. The result of their choices was disastrous and yet, when Rehoboam realized the error of his ways, humbled himself and repented before God, then the consequences that were due him God turned away. Contrary to religious belief from bad religious teaching; God is not the god of judgment and punishment. He is GOOD, Jesus confirmed that in Mark 10:18, and He changes not. Without going into an exegesis on judgment the Hebrew and Greek word Mercy means – withholding judgment. Lamentation 3:23 declares that “His mercies are new every morning and great is His Faithfulness.” He only has good gifts for his sons and daughters.
None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and we fall short of the perfection in Christ that we are called to live. There are many days when I wonder if I’m making any progress – if I’m truly following God’s path for my life or if I’m too focused on worldly issues and gains. In Philippians three Paul warns us of the destruction that comes when we “think only about earthly things.”
Max Lucado in his book “The Applause of Heaven” tells a story of a little girl’s first experience in a pit filled with colorful balls found at fast-food playground areas. She was so amazed by all the balls and all the colors she tried gathering as many as she could. She wanted them all for herself. She grasped and grasped and grasped until she could carry no more. She became so burdened with her treasures she was unable to walk out of the pit and yet, she didn’t want to let go of any of her prizes.
Isn’t that how life is when we’re overly focused on earthly treasures? It burdens us down with fear, anxiety, greed, lust, and contempt of others, that we no longer are able to walk the path that God has created for us.
Paul reminds us of this tendency. However, he also gives us a word of hope. We are not perfect, and we often become burdened with earthly things but our relationship with God is not about who we are, but who Christ is in us (2 Corinthians 5:17). So, who are you becoming? It is a process. When we totally surrender our ways to His then our path becomes clearer (Proverbs 3:6). It is the goal of attainment – of Sanctification. Each day as we move forward, dropping a ball or two along the way, then we are steadily moving forward along the path of becoming the fully devoted disciple God wants us to be. This is Good News! This is the Process!
When we recognize that we are overly focused on the pursuit of earthly things, we frequently become bogged down with feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, guilt, shame, and
insecurity. But as we continue reaching for the goal that God has for our lives – the goal of becoming the reflection of “Christ in you,” then this process of becoming Christ-like is attainable and rewarded by God.
My prayer for you today is that you will recognize who Christ is in you and turn away from everything that doesn’t look like Christ.
Pointing People to Jesus,
“On Earth as it is in Heaven!”