“One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14).
I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to look around you when you’re exercising. If you’re walking at a casual pace, it’s not so hard. But if you’re running, it’s nearly impossible to look behind you and continue running forward with the same pace and momentum as before.
We’ve probably all seen funny videos of people who fall off a treadmill. As a runner, and someone who has stumbled many times on a treadmill, I can testify to the fact that a blunder like this can happen so quickly! One second you’re running along, then you get distracted, miss one step and BAM! … down you go!
Our Christian life can feel much like this. But thankfully the Bible has something to say about what to do when we trip and fall.
- Forget what is past – Satan often tries to discourage us by reminding us of our past sins. Through the cross of Christ, we have the promise that we are a new creation… the old has been done away with and our lives have been made new. Our sins and the curse of the law were buried with Christ and we have been raised to walk in newness of life. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Romans 6:6-11)
- Keep pressing forward – This life is a journey. After our conversion, we cannot simply coast along. Every day we need to remember that we are involved in a battle, to pick up our armor and, in the power of Christ, fight. He has won the victory, Satan is a defeated foe, but until the day we die, we will be fighting the power of sin in this fallen world. (Ephesians 6:13-18)
- Remember there is a goal – Look to the end – there is a glorious hope, an imperishable crown that is kept in heaven for you. (1 Peter 1:3-5) When I’m running a race, it is helpful to look forward and remember the goal. Often times, that gives me the extra push of motivation to keep running. Its the same for our Christian walk. There is a goal, and it is sure.
- Look to Christ Jesus – Christ does not ask us to run the race in our own strength or ability. We are to leave our sins behind and look to Jesus. He is the One who called us and He is the One who will complete the work in us (Hebrews 12:1-2).
[copyrighted, 2009, Emily Schankweiler]