Reach for the prize
Scripture Reference: Philippians 3:13,14 (KJV)
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Many of us find ourselves in situations where we have come up short of the goals that we set out to achieve
Depending on how high we set our goals this could be worse for some than others
The worse thing I think that could happen however is for us to have no goals at all
Some of us have gotten our goals mixed up with our prizes
The first thing that I want to do is to let you know that there is a difference between goals and prizes
What is the difference between a goal and a prize?
Goal - 1 a. the terminal point in a race b. an area to be reached safely in children’s games 2 : the end toward which effort is directed : AIM 3 a: an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go in order to score points b: the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal c: the score resulting from such an act (synonymous with Intention)
Intention - 1: a determination to act in a certain way: RESOLVE 2: IMPORT, SIGNIFICANCE 3 a: what one intends to do or bring about b: the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered 4: a process or manner of healing of incised wounds 5: CONCEPT; especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge 6 pl: purpose with respect to marriage
Prize - 1 : something offered or striven for in competition or in contests of chance; also : PREMIUM 2: something exceptionally desireable 3 archaic : a contest for a reward : COMPETITION
Next, I want to ask you five questions that I want you to write down or commit to memory and answer at your own leisure
1. What is the ultimate prize that you are reaching for in your life?
2. Are you reaching for that prize right now? If not then why not?
3. Name three things that are hindering you from reaching that
4. Name one thing that you have left behind to attain that prize?
5. What can you change to bring you closer to attaining your
I pray that you answer these questions either now or when you get home that you stay the course
Let’s go to our scripture for today
First of all Paul an apostle of Christ as blessed as he was did not count himself as if he had attained a prize
After all of the things that he had done to include write a large portion of the new testament, study from the best scholars, receiving a revelation from Christ, etc he still considered himself as not being there yet
Let’s look at what we have accomplished to be able to say that we have arrived: Good jobs, great marriages, built churches, bought homes, good friends, etc these are all great accomplishments yet they all fall short of any of Paul’s small accomplishments
However there is one thing that Paul took credit for doing that I would like for all of us to concentrate on right now
Paul stated that he had successfully left some things behind
That is what is holding so many of us back from achieving what God has called us to do
We have been successfully bound by Satan by allowing him to make us think that we need to hold on to some things that actually need to be left behind
Think of one thing that you could leave behind right now church
I am not saying forget about that thing but I am saying put it behind us
Some of us are silly and confused enough to think that we need to leave our spouses or family behind
No this is not the enemy saints and I can assure you of that
The one thing that we need to put behind us to never get in our way again is again is Satan
Jesus said in (Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.) Get thee behind me Satan
He was not talking to Peter just as we don’t need to say that to those who are close to us but he was speaking to the spirit of Satan that had Peter bound at the time
This is what holds us back from being where we are supposed to be in God church (The spirit of Satan)
When we get bold enough to speak to Satan in this manner as to order him to get behind us we will notice that not only will he obey but he will flee (James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.). However to have this type of power we must first submit to God.
Prayerfully we have gotten this concept completely. Prayerfully we now understand that we need to leave some things behind in order to get where God would have us to be
The next thing that we need to do is reach for some things that are before us
When we reach for something there is always a possibility of failure
When we reach for something the less we consider all things: distance, weight, price, availability, length width, etc the higher our possibilities to fail become
Let’s face it no one wants to fail
The biggest reason that we are where we are right now is because we can operate there comfortably and the chances of failure are slim because we are sure that we have considered all things
In other words many of us are really not reaching for anything that presents a great level of difficulty and effort to attain because we have become complacent and idle
My grandmother used to always tell me that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop
Some of us feel as though we have left our comfort zone and that may be true but what I am talking about today is reaching for the prize
On thing for sure saints, when we reach for the prize it will take a continual effort (a press if you will)
When we press something that means that we have constant pressure on it.
If we remove that pressure for one second then that what we are pressing will immediately move out of place
In order to hold the things that you are reaching for in place you will have to press (apply continual pressure)
Also we must not gain movement and grow weary (Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.). Paul teaches that we should not grow weary in well doing in other words once we get the ball moving don’t settle for less than the prize because we are in a better position. We must always continue to press and apply pressure to that which we are trying to attain.
In order to reach for the prize then you will have to have a made up mind. Look at the Olympics of today. There are millions of spectators who love to watch the competitors and many of the spectators are there watching because they lack the strength, endurance, patience, intestinal fortitude, etc. that it takes to reach for the prize. In fact, if the athletes that decided to actually run in the race listened to the people’s advice that are on the sideline they too would probably be on the sideline watching and cheering and explaining how they missed their opportunity to reach for the prize in their lives. If you have decided to reach for the prize then you must also decide and be prepared to apply continual presuure that you may gain it.
Thank You. May God continue to bless you and keep you. Amen
Minister Juan D. Lane Sr.