2016-04-07 - Not Perfect Yet
Phil 3:12-14 (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. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul dictating to Timothy writing to the Philippian church makes an important statement. He is not perfect. A little shocking I know. It might have been good to ask that you sit before dropping something that surprising on you. My apologies.
But seriously, this is genuinely a critical point. The Apostle Paul explains to the church at Philippi that, for all his study, travels and travails - he was not perfect, … yet. We who name the name of Christ as our Savior and Lord will one day be perfected - not unlike Adam and Eve before the fall. Paul had knelt in the presence of Jesus Who appeared to Paul as Paul hunted early Christians, was not perfect.
Should we expect to be perfect in this life?
Anyone making this claim, that they are sinless, no longer tempted in any way, complete in their understanding of what God has for them - might have a questioning eyebrow raised at them. I know two people who have made this claim. I pray for them keeping in mind that I am not their judge. I will happily leave that with Jesus knowing He will know what is best.
Paul makes a few quick points that might be easy to gloss over. He acknowledges that Jesus "took hold of him". Anyone who reaches or even approaches a difficult goal has to admit that they had help, even if that help came only in the form of encouragement. Believers, brothers and sisters", have each other who should be there when we stumble or succeed with grace and encouragement.
Last thought. "Forgetting what lies behind". This is the hard part for me. Not holding on to failures or trouble from the past. Learn from that problem and move on toward the goal of Heaven and home.
Thank you, Lord. Your servant Paul left us this encouragement from your work in his life. In very much the same way You work in our lives. As we follow moving closer to home keep us humble, and our hearts burning with the message You have for the world around us. Amen.
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.