Scriptures: Philippians 3:12-14
Since we are still alive, we can know that God has more for us. We can say: "I'm not who I am want to be, but I'm on my way! I have not accomplished all that God has for me, but I'm still trying." God is still changing us, still working through us and still has more for us! We are on our way: we are in production.
We need to tell the world "don't get used to what I am, because I'm on my way somewhere. Don't get used to where I am, God has more for me." Make this time in your life a time for change to happen. Get free, get started, get out of debt, get more committed and turn some things around.
Paul wrote: "I press toward the mark for the prize." The prize is the high calling of God. In Greek, the word high is translated to mean: "upward, on the top, above and up." God has a plan for us to go up higher!
In this life there are many distractions absorbing our energy, but Paul had a singleminded goal to know Jesus Christ. Paul moved beyond his excuses. We must get beyond life's distractions and keep pressing on!
To press on we must lay aside the harmful, because God has more for our lives. We must forget the past: we cannot survive on past successes or dwell on past failures. We must remember that the "good old days," are not as good as we remember, or else we never would have looked for more! We have to stay focused on our future: seeking God's high calling for our lives. Don't give up, its time to press on!
Scriptures: Matthew 26:36-44, Galations 2:20
A test of our self will is when God asks us to do something that counters our own plans. God challenges our self will and pesonal ambition and sometimes He even asks us to sacrifice good and appropiate things. He requests that we do something for Him and may offer no logical reason why, but through this we learn child-like faith and obedience. This kind of faith is pleasing to God and creates submission, which is what true Christianity is all about.
The purpose of this test is to subject our will to God's Word. Our sinful nature pits our natural will aganist the spiritual will of God. We have to crucify our wrong desires. Jesus is the perfect example of this! We see Jesus in His human self saying "Not as I will." Jesus' human nature did not want to suffer the experience of the cross, but His divine nature desired the cross.
We all face the test to lay down our plans and desires to fulfill God's will. When we lay down fleshly carnal ambitions we become vessels for God's glory. The focus of Christianity is not dying, but living. Christ living in us, is a life lived by faith. Its a life focused not on what we have given up, but what we've gained through Christ!