Pressing On, Pressing Through
Philippians 3:13 (NKJV)
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead
Often when someone who is troubled in life comes to God, they have a renewed vigor for life. Things start turning around, and it often seems too good to be true. I have seen this countless times in just a few years of pastoring and even more as a faithful church attender prior to that. Where the issue seems to be is that after a certain amount of time the vigor leaves, the initial excitement fades, and people are often left wondering, “Did anything really happen at all? Maybe it was all in my head.”
Isn’t that life? In the world we call it the honeymoon stage. In the church we call it many things and there are many references to it in scripture. The truth is, it’s not over and you didn’t imagine it. God is good and His Word is powerful, but we know this according to Colossians 1:23, “if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard…” Faith isn’t a try it kind of thing. It must be continued in to be effective and that is a choice of each person.
My wife is one of the greatest examples of this I have ever met. Like anyone, there’s times when she gets discouraged. There’s times where it feels to her that it might not work. There’s times when she in her flesh would rather give up. However, I have never met anyone who reignites her courage, renews her faith, and stands back up more than her. No matter what the opposition, small or great, she presses through. If she has been wrong she repents before God and then continues on as if she never skipped a beat. I am both blessed and encouraged by her faith and strength.
This is also why our marriage is so blessed. It is because she doesn’t hold things against me and truly lives as a Godly wife. It encourages me every day to be a better husband, father, and Christian. Our ministry would not thrive if it weren’t for her and I wouldn’t be nearly as effective as a pastor without her.
We have to continue in what the Lord has started in us if we want to see the finish line. Just like a person in a race, if we give up and quit part way through, we will never see the finish line or the prize. God is doing great and mighty things but if there is anything we can learn from every great revival and every denomination that has come out of them, if we stop moving with the Word, the Word stops moving our lives.
When we become spiritually lethargic, and don’t correct it, God’s power will cease to be effective in our lives. Renew your hunger! Stand up against the devil and shout, “No more!” Be Christian (which really means Christlike by the way)! Refuse to be another complacent “believer” and keep the power and grace of God active in your life!
Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)
I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.