Summary: for what has God called us? Or are we content to sit and do nothing? Do we have "Short-timers disease?" Call God is for us to be more like Jesus every day.
Opening Illustration: When I was in the military, we had disease that was rampant among those that was nearing the completion of their military service. It was called “short-timers disease." I have seen this over and over again throughout my life. You could always tell when a soldier was getting close to his ETS date, (Expiration of Term of Service, the date when his active duty tour of duty was over). They would skip PT formations and when they were there for PT, they would barely do anything. They would go through the motions and wouldn’t put forth much effort.
You could also notice their Short Timers disease with their work performance. Lazy and half done with most of their duties, they felt that they had served and their tour was over. No longer did they have to do the work, they were going home, and they had been there and done that. They were ready for a break from service.
The truth is, they stopped being soldiers long before their release from service.
The question this morning for each of us is: Have we gotten a Short Timers Attitude with our service to God? Have we gotten to the point in our Christian walk where we feel like we have done our part, we have been there and done that, we have been schooled and have made the grade, we know all there is to know and now we are skating by with no desire, with no drive to be a better servant for Christ.
If so, we then have an attitude of a short timer. We believe we have arrived and we no longer feel that we need to push ourselves. We no longer have to read the Bible every day; we no longer have to show up to church each week, we don’t even have to pray before our meals anymore because we are above all of that now. We know God Loves us, He knows we Love Him, and we know we are going to Heaven. 1
We have no goals as far as our Spiritual Maturity goes. Our only clear goal set before us was to accept Jesus and to receive salvation. Been there, done that. Got the T-shirt. Not to belittle that monumental event of salvation, but if it all stops there, this is the big reason why so many believers are unmotivated in their walk with Jesus.
Is that all Jesus called you for? There has to be more if you want your relationship with Jesus to be motivating.
To those early believers in Philippi, Paul was a giant. He was the one that brought them the Gospel, established the church there, had the run in with the local Government officials, thrown in Jail and came out on top and converted the Jailer in the process. He was a spiritual Giant to them, yet Paul wrote to them saying:
Philippians 3:12 (NKJV) Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Here is Paul who wrote a large percentage of our New Testament, and he is saying that he has not yet arrived. He is not perfect, or as other translations say, not yet completed. How many here today can confidently raise your hand and say you have arrived, you are all that that Jesus wants you to be? I cannot raise my hand.
You see the mark of being on the road to spiritual maturity is that fact that the closer one comes to Christ, the more Spiritual aware one is, the more one learns how far they have yet to go.
You see, that event when we are converted, we come into fellowship with Jesus, we have the understanding that the blood of Jesus covered all our sins and we can stand justified before the throne of God, that point is not the end of the journey, but the beginning.
Our call begins at salvation, leading to our conformity with Christ (sanctification) which includes eternal fellowship with Jesus, journey to our home in Heaven with Him, in fact Paul tells in in Phil. 3:20 that our citizenship is in Heaven. We are not called to fit in with this world, but called to be citizens of our true home.
"but I press on"
For as much as Paul had done, he realized how much further he had to go. So He presses on, for what? Paul pressed on, not out of personal will or in his own power, but Paul did so because Jesus had chosen him and grabbed hold of his life. Regardless of what Paul had going for him in the past, for the first time Paul had a real purpose, a real mission, that all had eternal rewards.