I wrote a blog a couple of years ago (my how time flys!) called It’s gotta be worth it right? I was talking about obedience in the hard times. About being formed in a crucible – go read it 🙂 Today I was reading Philippians 3 and that same idea of obedience struck me. I guess it’s something I – we? – will have to come back to year after year after year. In the old blog I was posing it as a question to which I expected the answer ‘yes’. I still expect that answer when I ask if it is worth it. In fact, I am saying it is worth it.
Paul agrees with me:
12 I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go.
I’m meditating on this passage in Philippians and one technique I use is to read different translations. The NIV says:
12 … but I press on …
It was those few words that I focused on today. “I press on”.
I’d read earlier about a small man called Zacchaeus and his desire, his passion, his need to see Jesus. He was small in stature and small in character – he’d swindled, robbed and cheated his way to wealth. He’d collaborated with the Roman oppressors of his people. But he’d also heard about this man Jesus and something that he had heard made him determined to see for himself.
4 So he runs ahead of the crowd and climbs up into a sycamore tree so he can see Jesus when He passes beneath him.
When was the last time I ran ahead of the crowd? When was the last time seeing Jesus, spending time with Him was so important to me that I made any extra effort? This isn’t daily intimacy – I have that and I cherish it but it’s that extra something that is like running ahead of the crowd. It’s the extra effort that puts things into perspective – that presses on.
When was the last time I climbed the tree? Again, it’s not the daily time I spend with my Bible, reading and listening. This is the pressing on, the thing that focuses me more intently. It’s too easy for me to get complacent; to tick off my to-do list and be satisfied with what I have. I want to press on. To press in and take hold of what He has for me. To fulfill the purpose for which He has taken hold of me.
I like the easy life. I like to have things familiar and routine. I like to have plans and stick to them. My friends and family will tell you I’m not good with things that upset my plans…
I need to run ahead of the crowd sometimes. I need to climb the tree so I can see Jesus. Not every day, not every week but more often than I would like I think.
I want to press on. Press on, get established and then press on again. So, I guess I am looking for the place to run ahead to, the tree I can climb, maybe I’ll get out of breath, a bit sweaty and maybe even scrape some skin on the tree bark but I think it’ll be good for me because it’s worth it.