Here’s the message I considered texting to everyone I know.
I’m at that décor mega-super-store. It’s so mega and so super that I’m pretty sure I’ve been here for four days. I can no longer feel my feet. Please send help.
I fought off the urge to send it, but that shopping trip finally ended like this:
Cashier, as I’m checking out: Did you find everything okay?
Me, unloading my eight carts: Not really but I’m too weary and dehydrated to go on.
Cashier: Do you have a rewards card?
Okay, it probably wasn’t four days and I might not have had eight carts. But there were some deals I could not say no to. It was like, if I stopped shopping, the store would instantly sell out of some piece of prize decor. So I pressed on. Like a total maniac. Like a total maniac with feelingless feet.
Paul charges us to press on with a better enthusiasm, in a better direction, and for a better purpose. In Philippians 3:14, he says, “I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus” (CSB). “Press on” is from the Greek “dioko.” It implies a sold-out, soldiering on, lifelong commitment. And it’s in the present tense, so that we understand that this pressing on is not just for a couple of hours. Not even for four days. Paul is saying that this pressing on is the constant habit of his life.
Warren Wiersbe said that the Greeks used “dioko” to describe an “intense endeavor,” as in “a hunter eagerly pursing his prey.” Yes, that does rather describe my shopping. But so much more, I want it to describe my passion for pursing Christ. I want this to be the constant habit of my life.
Paul clues us in about what that pursuit looks like just prior. In verse 12, he says, “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, but I make every effort to take hold of it.” Then he shares his motivation with us in the next verse. His why. His “because.” “Because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.”
To be taken hold of by Christ is to be cherished. Cradled. This is the most loving, eternally nurturing hold.
Oh, how I want to pursue Him and to intensely endeavor to live out His call—out of love for the one who has redeemed me, the one who has taken loving hold of me. The prize? When we pursue this goal, we win His forever presence. There’s nothing in the universe more mega or more super. We’re talking about the reward card to end all reward cards.
I’m encouraged as well that Paul wasn’t necessarily all about perfection. He freely admitted he was not there. That tells me that it’s a growth process—and reminds me I need to be growing and maturing. He says in verse 15, “Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way.” The Amplified version expands on it this way: “All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude” (Philippians 3:15 AMP).
Press on. Let’s do it. Let’s take on this charge. Let’s put on this attitude. Let’s pursue it. Let’s pursue Him. I want to pursue my Jesus with all the strength I have. And if He ever needs it, all the feeling in my feet.