“Pressing Toward the Mark” . . . For the prize! This journey includes a lot of ups and downs; and it can even present some mistakes. It’s likely, that many who read this passage, find it hard to believe, that the man who wrote it, didn’t make errors. And they also don’t enjoy the fact, that he had also been given a thorn, that helped keep him humble. He said he had not apprehended yet. And, he had to forget some things, that were behind him.
If this apostle had not made some errors in judgment, he likely would not have said, that he had to die daily. He even talked about bringing every thought under subjection, and doing things he did not want to do. He also spoke of how his flesh, wished to prevent him from not doing things he knew he should do. He had to press. I once remarked, that we need to let Jesus, be human. We need to let the apostles be human also. They were earthly men, just as we are and they faced the same tests we all do daily.
Now, it can be very hard to forget those things that are behind; especially, if there are those who can’t wait to remind you of them. Being unable to forgive yourself, makes it hard to leave those things alone also. Sometimes we just have to keep reminding ourselves, that God has forgiven us and this changes everything. It may not change things in people’s eyes, but it does in the sight of God. t may sound a bit odd, but often times, we have to press our way through the past. We have to push it back, and let it be.
If there is one thing the Apostles taught, it was forgiving one another. We often have to press toward forgiveness; pushing against our hurt feelings and pressing ourselves to let go of what has hurt us. It’s not easy; that’s why he used the word press. We have to push through all of the tests and the trials we encounter, knowing there is a prize that can be won. I like that word prize. It means, there is something to be gained; and a true reward.
What is the highest calling of God? Wouldn’t it be, to win souls for Jesus Chris? Not to reach forward, for more of the Spirit, means to settle for less than what we could have. Pressing for more.
To be more like Him, to be more open and sensitive; reaching for more wisdom, more knowledge and more understanding. We don’t get it without pressing; often times, we have to reach, with everything we have. What prize, are we hoping to gain. Our eternal reward is not just to make it, but to also take someone else with us.
~ Robert Blackburn