Focused on the Goal (msg)12-14I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.
15-16So let's keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision-you'll see it yet! Now that we're on the right track, let's stay on it.
17-19Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21But there's far more to life for us. We're citizens of high heaven! We're waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He'll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
So what is Paul trying to tell us here, as He writes to the believers in Phillipi?
verses 12 -14 are talking about how even Paul does not have it all together, but is moving forward; verses 15-16 admonishes us to keep our own eyes on the goals set before us by the Father, The goal of becoming more and more like Christ daily. (and also He is praying for us that God will clear our blurred vision, because life has a tendency to blur all reality and blind us so that we cant see what God is doing, and dumb us so that we don't understand what He wants.
verses 17-19 compares easy street with dead-end street ( so much for the prosperity gospel), and of course it is comparing the problem many of us have (overeaters like myself) with idiolatry. We give food consumption much more importance than what it should have. It is a common problem I have but need to deal with and that is the always eating, never satisfied problem (maybe even the primary cause in depression, the never satisfied problem) maybe it is because we are starving for the real food that only Jesus can give us.
verses 20-21 remind us that we are citizens of heaven, we long and wait for the arrival of our master who will transform our earthly, sin prone, weak bodies into a new glorious, perfect in every way body, where food is no longer mandatory, but an option, our minds will be able to understand the spiritual things of God, which we are unable to fully comprehend presently. We will be like HIM finally. (Can't wait!!)
So I must forget about the past. Past failures, even past victories, if they are holding me back. Forget about the earthly pleasure that keeps my mind on my needs and away from what I really need and that is more of GOD and less of myself.
I must remind Myself that the faith heros in the bible were just ordinary men used by God in extraordinary ways: Hebrews 11...(click on the link if you want to read it!).
Then comes Hebrews 12 and that is where the point gets driven home.
Hebrews 12 (NLT)
God's Discipline Proves His Love
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.[a] Because of the joy[b] awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people;[c] then you won't become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said,
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?[g]
10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. 11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening-it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.