Summary: This is the sixth and finalsermon in a series of sermons looking at developing a deeper walk with Christ. It addresses the issues of self evaluation and service.
Pt 6 - Press On
This morning I want to wrap up this series on going deeper. Are you still with me? I hope that you are journeying deeper each day in your relationship with Christ. Last week I shared with you Paul’s goals for his spiritual life; To know Christ in the power of His resurrection and in the fellowship of his sufferings. Today I want to share with you some final thoughts on this journey as Paul wraps up his testimony to the Philippian church.
In these latter verses Paul evaluates his life and finds himself lacking. We look at Paul as a hero of the faith - a guy who had it all together. Paul, however, looked at himself and said - man look how far I am from being who and what God made me to be.
1) Take an honest look at yourself and Refuse to become content - When you look at yourself this morning are you ready to stand before God today? Are you living out the plan that He has laid for you in your life? Have you reached the goal? Are you settling for being good enough when there is so much more to be had? The enemy of all greatness is contentment. Paul looks at his life that to us seems so power filled and says “I’m not there yet but I am pressing on…” The greek word that Paul uses here is the word “diôkô”. It means literally to run after. It is the word that would be used to describe running quickly after someone in an attempt to catch them. Paul describes his life in terms of a constant pursuit of his goals. In today’s world we have a terrible tendency toward contentment and laziness. In places where comfort is not so easily found - the simple struggle for life is a compelling enough reason to not become content. Contentment in those places means death. If I am not willing to hunt for food I will starve to death - that is the reality of life for many in today’s world. For those of us who rather comfortably have our needs provided - contentment becomes a way of life. Spiritually it’s the same - As long as I am not as bad as someone else I must be OK. Paul paints a different picture - one of never becoming content but always pushing for something higher something better. Always chasing after that illusive idea of perfection in our Christian walk. If you want to go deeper it takes a hunger and thirst after God to get there.
2) Get Involved v.13b - To what lies ahead. Paul says that he is reaching, stretching is the meaning of the greek word, toward what lies ahead. The accomplishment of his task in life. This is something I want you to hear this morning. Until you begin to use your gifts, and establish your personal ministry you will never go deeper in Christ. One of the reasons I believe that so many people have a shallow, stale relationship with Christ is that they never even begin to become what God made them to be. Psalm 136 says ““For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. … Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” You were made by God for a purpose. You were placed here for a purpose. Until you begin to accomplish that purpose you will always stay in the shallow end of the pool. In our staff meetings, in our council meetings, and even in our congregational meetings we have the same discussion over and over - where are all the people? Why do we have so many spots that need to be filled? Why is our children’s ministry struggling to find vital volunteers for nursery, children’s church, and Wednesday night programs? Why are we in need of coordinators to help lead our programs? Then we look at the other side - why aren’t we deeper spiritually than we are? Well the answer is they go hand in hand. If you want to find people who are going deeper, you will find people who are using their gifts to follow Christ. You will begin to grow and your relationship with Christ will deepen when you begin to be what He created you to be.
I want you to understand today - if you want to go deeper it won’t be done sitting down.