Prize.


Philippians 3:12-14

                                                                                                                                                                                            “Not 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. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

I’m up really late. I’m an introverted night owl who doesn’t have to work tomorrow, so I’m writing. I’ve been thinking about something lately. Actually, I’ve been thinking about a lot of things lately because my job allows me a lot of time in my own head. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s not. Sometimes when I’m working, my head runs around in circles and reminds me of my glaring flaws. There are a lot of them. I’m stubborn; I like to get my way; I can be very insecure; I worry way too much about people’s opinions of me; I spend most of my time assuming everyone is mad at me; and I have to fight myself to not make decisions out of fear. Each time my brain gets into a loop pointing out all of the things I should have done differently, and the mistakes I’m probably making now, there’s always a common denominator: my own ability to change myself. Being stuck only with my own hands is hopeless and really lonely, because when it comes to my ability, I got nothing. I can try, but I can’t maintain perfection by my own hand. I’m broken and I can’t fix myself. I need a Life Alert button for my existence.

I’ve been studying Philippians for the past week or two. It’s a really comforting piece of literature, and the person of Jesus, and our transformation through our “partnership with the Gospel” are revealed beautifully in it. It comforts and challenges me because it takes my idea that I need to be able to fix myself, sets it aside, and hands me Jesus: The Prize. Jesus, Who makes the world whole. Jesus, Who doesn’t let us walk alone, in triumphs and screw-ups alike. Jesus, Who did not hold onto His own glory, power, and deity selfishly, and because He prized us, left a throne to give Himself to us, and in doing so became even greater.

The Prize of Heaven prized us… Prizes us. There is so much power in this for me as I do not see myself as a person worth being prized like that.

There is so much room to rejoice in this. No wonder Paul could write that he had learned to be content, no wonder he would tell this church not to be anxious, but to seek their God for peace in His Son.

This is a God worthy of the surrendering of my every millisecond — every struggle, every worry, every joy, every step. This is a God worthy of being chased after as the winning of a lifetime race. The cross of Christ is no burden to bear. It is a delight, because He has delighted in me.

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