PHILIPPIANS 3:14: “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
OBSERVATION: Am I growing in my life, am I flatlined, or in decline? This is an important question for me to ask myself. The call of God in Christ Jesus is an “upward” call. It is to live a life that is marked by progressive growth and change. It does not matter how old I am or how long I have been a Christian – I am on an “upward” call. It is a call for the mortal to become immortal, the temporal to become eternal, the broken to become whole. Paul admits that he had not yet attained this goal – yet he professes that he has left everything else in this life behind so that he can pursue the “upward” call with all of his heart, soul, mind, and strength!
Paul many times uses the analogy of athletic competition in his explanation of the Christian life. In this verse he calls us toward the goal – for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. There is a reward for those who diligently follow Him (Hebrews 11:6). This type of discipleship is not automatic. We all have a choice on whether we will build our lives with wood, hay, or stubble (the flatlined or downward call), or gold, silver, and precious jewels (the upward call). The choice is ours. The Lord gives us the Grace that is needed to press toward the goal. What is needed is discipline and obedience. Just like an athlete, the one who gives themselves to training is the one who excels. This is not “works righteousness”. Rather, this is righteousness being worked out in our lives through Grace. This is why Paul exhorted the Philippians – “,,,work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13),
You have heard the expression – “No pain…no gain”. This is true in the spiritual as it is in the physical. If you only plant one seed you will see one sprout. If you plant many seeds you will reap a harvest. If we engage our lives only marginally in The Lord we will reap a little fruit. However, if we pour our lives into Him, if we daily abide in His Word, if we give ourselves to prayer, if we willingly obey and follow Him in Christian service – we will reap a harvest of blessing and find ourselves on the “upward call”. Lord, give me the Grace today to press toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus! In Jesus Name!