Philippians 3:12 AMP
Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.
As children, many of us were encouraged to set goals for our lives and career. Today, there are still things we strive to achieve, and we make plans and sacrifices to make our dreams and desires a reality.
Paul had a goal. His goal was to be Christ like. Before that fateful day on the Damascus Road when he met Christ, Paul had reasons to boast because of his achievements. He had goals which he pursued with much zeal and fervor. However, after meeting Christ, to him, all his previous achievements and aspirations became insignificant, worthless, and, based on his language, offensive.
Paul’s appetite for the things of the world drastically changed and was replaced by a deep desire to be what God called him to be. He wanted to be Christ like, attaining perfection in Christ.
He knew that, in this life, attaining that level of perfection was impossible, but he was not daunted by this knowledge. Instead, he aggressively pursued his goal as if it was attainable.
As he attempted to achieve his goal, Paul had to let go of the things of the past, trust in the righteousness of Christ through faith, rather than his own righteousness, and develop a deep, personal relationship with Christ.
Paul described his hearts desire in Philippians 3:10 AMP. He said he wanted to “know Him [experientially, becoming more thoroughly acquainted with Him, understanding the remarkable wonders of His Person more completely]”.
Paul’s goals had migrated from a religious passion to destroy the church to a hunger for the Head of the church. Where he once did everything in his power to “discourage” others from finding the Way, now he was showing every and anyone the Way, the Truth and the Light. This required complete dedication to the will of God, even as Christ was dedicated to the will of the Father (John 5:30).
Paul confessed that he had not yet achieved his goal, but he continued to press on, despite the odds. Paul had an insatiable hunger for Christ and the things of God, and he was not prepared to settle for less. May we too develop this hunger seeking God daily even as we chase after our earthly goals.
Prayer: Lord give us a heart that chases after You.