Why we should keep going

(Photo: Unsplash/Brian Erickson)

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But 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 chapter 3, verses 13-14 NIV).

My heart overflows with thankfulness, thinking about the many low lows and high highs, that the Lord Jesus and I have journeyed through together. I am so grateful for all He has done, in and through me. Above all, I am appreciative of the way He has revealed Himself and His heart to me - thus far. I am grateful!

But... I want more.

My prayer always is "Thank you Lord. Give me more of You!"

The yearning deep within me continually cries for deeper still (Psalm chapter 42, verse 7); echoing the love song He began at the beginning.

"Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is as strong as death its jealousy as unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love and rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one's house for love, it would be utterly despised!" (Song of Songs chapter 8, verse 6-7).

The first and greatest commandment is hidden in this song: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt.22:37).

All of me - for all of You!

Further, and further, lower and lower, into the profound depths of God Himself.

Who can exhaust the eternal? There is no end to His beauty!

Yes, this is eternal life: that they might know You, the only true God (John chapter 17, verse 3). Eternal life is the pursuit of the knowledge of God... the whole point to it all. How glorious!

There is so much ahead, so much, much more to experience - the infinitude of which makes all past knowledge appear to be ignorance; the joy of which would cause every previous pleasure to be considered utter misery.

Superior in every way is the God-Man - Jesus, the Christ. His excellence surpasses that of the best man ever to have lived. Ah! No wonder they love You! What's there not to love?

He is fairer than ten thousand others; anointed with the oil of gladness, He rules in uprightness, and rides triumphantly for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness (Psalm chapter 45, verses 2-8). Perfect in beauty!

Happy are they that love You, and have found the safety to be had in Your tabernacle.

But are we stuck in the past?

One hindrance to our ascent up to the mountain of God is remaining stuck in the past. Past failures and past successes can trip us up along the way; hence, the Apostle Paul exhorts us to forget what lies behind. To attain the prize of the upward calling – God Himself (our treasure and exceeding great reward – Genesis chapter 15, verse 1), we must, whilst maintaining a heart of gratitude for all the Lord has formerly done, refuse to be content with memories.

We petition the Lord for daily bread, remembering that the manna of heaven was never meant to be carried over to the next day. All who tried to do so, found that it had become rotten, infested with maggots and unfit for consumption. The bread of yesterday cannot be preserved (Exodus chapter 16, verses 17-20).

Fresh bread, however, requires fresh hunger

To participate in the new thing that the Lord is doing, we must have room to receive it, as well as desire to attain it. It is the hungry that eat, and the thirsty that drink. The full, go without.

Indeed, blessed are the hungry – for they will be satisfied (Matthew chapter 5, verse 6).

Lord Jesus, give us grace to not settle for yesterday's victory, or wallow in past defeat. May we press against the wind of former things, into the knowledge of You. Increase our capacity to receive, and our hunger for the things of God.

Help us to love you with all that we are, Jesus!

"A dead body feels no hunger and the dead soul knows not the pangs of holy desire.

"Oh, God, I have that longing to know You, that hunger and thirst for righteousness, that 'desire for fuller life.' Move me along in the direction of that hunger, Lord, and give me the strength to follow 'in the direction of that urge.' Amen" (A.W. Tozer, Tozer on Christian Leadership).

Republished from Christian Today UK.