12 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12 (NIV)
Athlete, you have an advantage; you have set goals since you began dribbling a basketball or throwing a ball against the garage door. You know what it takes to pursue a goal.
An NBA All-Star whose retired jersey hangs in his team’s arena recounts skipping the high school parties and movie nights to practice shooting free throws.
He set high goals in high school and college. His goals propelled him past the criticisms of being “too slow, too short” to make it in basketball.
The apostle Paul had the same attitude about his goals concerning the Christian life.
When Paul writes about striving and pushing ahead, he is not writing about beginning a relationship with God. A relationship with God can never be earned by good works or an admirable lifestyle.
That relationship begins when we turn from our passive or active rebellion against God and put our trust in Christ who paid for our offenses against God.
Paul is pressing toward a goal of realizing all that Christ intended for him. God draws a person into a relationship with Him to become part of His purposes on earth.
Paul did not want to miss out on any of it. It shaped his resolve and his determination to please God. It drove his commitment to give all of himself to God.
Athletes have an advantage – they know what happens when they keep their eyes on their goals. When Christ-followers keep their eyes on God and His purposes, it affects how they live, what they treasure and whom they obey.
Athlete, aim high. Aim for what God intends for your life: how He will transform you, how He will use you in His purposes, what you will experience in a relationship with Him.