September 29, 2016
Goals are powerful. They motivate us to accomplish tasks that don’t thrill us, tasks we wouldn’t attempt if the task stood on alone without a goal attached to it. Earning money to pay bills and support our family motivates us to show up at that job we aren’t wild about. Thinking about a date on Friday motivates us to be diligent during the workweek. Admission to our favorite college motivates us to study in high school. The joy of victory in athletics or applause after a performance motivates us to put forth our best effort in the midst a boring practice session.
In today’s scripture offering, Paul says that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ … and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul’s energies. The beautiful thing about Paul’s goal, and it is the same for us, too … the goal itself is awesome. But, unlike the real world, the tasks and training that bring us to this goal of Christ-likeness are amazing, powerfully engaging, and uniquely enjoyable.
The problem we all face is that Satan has infiltrated our wiring, brainwashing us early in life, and deceiving us into believing that the tasks necessary to develop the mind of Christ are dangerous, boring, costly, harmful, unnecessary, or even contrary to our goals. These are some of the many roadblocks Satan uses to prevent us from relating to Christ and becoming like Him. I think Paul’s message is a helpful example for all of us as we strive to move closer to Christ … to know Christ and actually develop the Mind of Christ that is already in us.
Remember the faith formula: Believe > Receive > Become. Growing in Christ is the “become” part of the formula. WITHIN REACH, our unique workshop, helps you understand and identify obstacles that impede your progress; it teaches you the hidden benefits impacting all 3 spheres when you make good decisions that once you know them, will powerfully motivate you when your zeal, focus, or energy is low. Our workshop also shows what is holding you back, and helps you overcome those obstacles to achieve the life that God has for you that is right within your reach.
Today, identify the benefits of living life God’s way, of pursuing Him, and not doing things Satan’s way. This will keep you more focused and motivated to pursue the mind of Christ. Strive to put aside anything harmful that may distract you from being the Christian God wants you to be. Easier said than done, I know. Maybe a good start would be to ask yourself this question, “What is holding me back, and why do I still believe it or do it anyway?” And “do I have a strategy to live life differently?” Whether you develop a strategy to beat the enemy, or you continue to use the random “just-wing-it-day-by-day” strategy you actually use now, is your decision, so choose well.
Dear Father God, Trying to live a perfect Christian life can be so difficult it leaves me drained and discouraged. I feel I am so far from being a perfect Christian and I will never be able to please You with my life. During these times when I feel discouraged, I am so thankful for Your message to me through Paul as he spoke to the Philippians. Help me today, Lord, to remember that You paid the price for my sinfulness, and remind me to forget what is behind me and to focus on winning the prize for which You have called me. I know that I am not a perfect Christian, but I also know that any progress I make to get closer to You is perfect progress. Help me, today, my God, to act on the guidance that You have already given me through Your Holy Spirit. I pray this prayer and all prayers with the authority of and in the name of Jesus; and all God’s people say – AMEN!
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus Philippians 2:4-5