Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 4- Philippians 3:12b

"... I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." Philippians 3:12b (NIV)

This one on its own had me stumped. By itself, I understood that pressing on had quite a few meanings. First, I haven't attained a goal. Second, it will take work. The idea of "press on" makes me think that I will have to push through things, be persistent, especially when things are difficult and/or mundane.  I also understood from this that I had a goal to reach; something to "take hold" of. Again I see the God-work in that Christ has already taken hold of me and will give me the strength to take hold of the goal. It will not come from my power, but by my persistent submission to the goal he has set for me. With all that said, it still felt empty without the context of the rest of the verse and surrounding text.

The context of Philippians chapter 3 is the idea that we have nothing in and of ourselves to boast of. Everything is worthless in light of being one with Christ. That is the goal he is speaking of. The prize we reach for. The end of the race. That is what we were taken hold of for: Unity (relationship) with Christ. Like every relationship, this one takes work; hence the "pressing on". As the bride of Christ, he has already taken hold of us. When we choose to join him (i.e. become a Christian, disciple, believer, follower, part of the body) we begin the relationship. It, however, is like any other relationship and we must continue to work daily, hourly, minute by minute, and second by second to reap the reward of making it all it is intended to be.

It makes me think of my own marriage. I remember that when Christina and I decided to get married, I was very excited about how great it was going to be. I can honestly say that it has been great and is getting better as time goes by. I can also see that there is a lot of potential that we have not reached in our relationship. The one thing I don't think anyone could have prepared me for, though, is how HARD it has been. The first few years were especially trying, but we still go through some very difficult, heart-wrenching times. Even with those, however, I can truthfully say it is much better than I could have imagined the day we wed. I am a truly blessed man.

All of that to say this, it has taken "pressing on" to make this relationship grow. There is implied commitment in that. There is no such thing as real relationship without commitment. That may sound hard or harsh, but it is true. You cannot get to the best of what a relationship is intended to be without difficulty, hard work, sweat, and tears. A person will not stick through or put in the required effort without commitment to the goal; the unity/oneness intended in a relationship. It goes for marriage and it goes for our relationship with Christ. It is why he took hold of us. Do we dare press on to take hold of Him? I am trying.

One last thought: I struggled with the idea of "that which he took hold of me." I believe I now understand what the end goal of His taking hold of me is: Unity and a relationship. What I don't understand and can't fathom is "Why?"

Thank you Abba.


No comments:

Post a Comment