Philippians 3:12-16 – “Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.” NASU
There are two ways that one can go through life. You can go through life looking forward, eyes fixed on the prize, goal, or destination or you can constantly be looking back playing the “what if” game and wondering, second-guessing, and questioning. One way leads to an assured victory the other way has a great propensity for failure. Recently I sat with some old friends from my early days and they began reminiscing about some of the antics that we pulled during our youth and for a brief moment, we all began to live those times again. The laughter was there, the memories vivid, and even some of the feelings of those things came back when suddenly the Holy Spirit stopped me and reminded me of a passage that caused me to change the topic. He said, Luke 9:62 – “No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” NASU Then He also spoke to my spirit, 2 Peter 2:22 – “…A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” NASU He asked me, “Do you want to reminisce on sinful things and possibly create a longing to go back or do you want to keep your eye on the ultimate prize in Me?”
The answer was obvious. The things we were reminiscing about involved drinking and mischief. They were times of our youth when we were young, wild, and free (so to speak). We were invincible and 10 feet tall and bulletproof! We danced to our own drummer and resisted and rebelled against the status quo and were constantly stepping outside the acceptable into those things that would cause raised eyebrows among the older generation. Most just called it “sowing wild oats” but it was not a spiritually positive time of my life and not something that I wanted to get back into my mind or spirit. So as gently and inoffensively as I could I moved the subject to some of the times when we were more in step with what was considered normal and acceptable and began to tell how my life changed after Vietnam and I came to know the Lord. What was heading down a path that was not spiritually productive became a time of deep introspection and reflection on how our lives had changed and mostly for the better over the years as we had grown and matured. Each of us confessed that we would be very disturbed had our children done the same things we did.
It is important to keep your eye on the goal. If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know when you get there? If you don’t know your objective how will you know when you have achieved it? If you don’t know what is required how will you know what to do to be prepared? Focus, in everything, is important but in spiritual things it is critical. We MUST keep our “Eyes on Jesus” lest we turn aside and become sidetracked and lose our way. He will walk beside us, provide the Holy Spirit to be our very efficient and capable guide through this maze called life and lead us to that HIGHER CALLING and enable us to ATTAIN THE PRIZE of the HIGH CALLING of God in Christ Jesus! So my dear friend, don’t let the little issues sidetrack you.
May God bless you as you go through your day in Him! Blessings!