Finish The Race

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12Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16Only let us hold true to what we have attained.             Philippians 3:12-16 ESV Paul is trying to teach the Philippians what it is to simply trust God. In Chapter 3, the first eleven verses, he is instructing them on what it is to live a life of faith and righteousness. If you go back and read it you will find that it is encouraging, only if you are willing to pay the price. What Paul is really saying is that there is a price to be paid to see the fulfillment of the plan of God in your life. When we walk into verse twelve, Paul begins in what I often refer to as one of his personal accounts. He has lain open what his life and his own personal desires. He knows well the pain and cost of following Christ, but his heart begins to cry out in these verses what he truly desires. As we are coming to the end of this fast I have to be open and admit that yesterday was my hardest day. I do not know what happened, but simply put, it was miserable. There was much to accomplish and much that simply did not get done. So close. So very close to the end. I knew that I was within hours of completing the twenty-one day fast and I just wanted a sonic burger and banana cream shake! I told Valerie when she got home and she got excited…she thought the Pastor had canceled the fast and we were going to Sonic! I had to stop myself. That is an interesting statement. Stop yourself. Is that really possible? Let me rephrase myself on that one. My soul had to stop my flesh from fulfilling the desires of the flesh. As I woke this morning and realized that I had done it; I made it all night without cheating on this fast. I turned this morning to Paul’s words here in Philippians 3. Paul expressed what is going to keep me going to the end. 1. My flesh is not perfect, but with Christ I am being made in His image! 2. I could not do this on my own; it is the spirit of God in me that does it! 3. My goal of fulfilling my commitment is more important than anything else! 4. Some will not understand; but God is faithful to continue teaching us! 5. I am holding fast to what I have obtained! Today is the last day for me to blog about the fast. I have challenges today and tomorrow on this fast. There will be activities that will be a trial for me. I could easily say, I made it this far…it will be fine! That would be like the runner getting within a few feet of the finish line and saying…oh well, I made it this far I think I will just stop here! Let each of us finish the race that God has put before us. It might not be easy and there will often be distress included in it. But if we desire to be like Christ, remember, He didn’t just carry the cross up the hill and say that was enough…he died on it. If he can do that for me; what can I do for him? Just a thought for the day!

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