Having The Right Attitude
This week we pickup in Philippians 3:12-16. Paul continues teaching the Philippians and us that pursuing Christ is our number one priority.
Paul opens up by continuing from the previous verse, Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect. The “it” that Paul refers to is the resurrection from the dead. He readily admits that he’s not there yet. Even though for him to live is Christ and to die is gain, he realizes that he’s still here for a while. He hasn’t made it to what he will be when the resurrection happens.
So, what is Paul’s response? But I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Paul is moving forward. Why? So that he can grab hold of that for which Christ claimed him. What is that? The goal for which Christ saved Paul was to be conformed to His image. That is the goal that Christ sets for all who follow Him.
Paul continues to emphasize that he’s not there yet. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; Paul relates to the Philippians as family. He does not regard himself as perfect. He wants to make sure that his readers realize this, compared to false teachers who believed that one could achieve perfection in this life.
So what is Paul’s focus? But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead. Paul is focused on the future. He has a checkered past. If Paul focused on that, he would not be able to move forward toward Christ. He forgets the past and reaches for what is ahead.
What is Paul’s specific goal? I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. God is calling Paul to pursue Him through Jesus Christ.
What is Paul’s secret to pursuing his goal? Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; Don’t get hung up on Paul’s use of the word perfect here. He’s already said that he, and others, are not perfect. What he means is those who follow Christ and will achieve perfection when they finally make it to Glory. Paul’s secret is having the right attitude. Those who follow Christ must do so with the right attitude. But what is that attitude? It is to make Christ their main pursuit in everything that makes up their life.
What happens if you don’t have this attitude? And if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that to also to you; In Galatians, Paul wrote that God sends the Spirit of His Son into our hearts. The Holy Spirit convicts us when we do those things that are contrary to God’s ways. If we don’t have this attitude, God will make that known to us.
Paul’s hope is that we never get to this point. Instead, Paul encourages another way. However, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. Paul points toward staying on the path that leads to Christ. Keep pursuing Christ in all things.
Pursuing Christ with the right attitude is a must in our lives. He is our goal, our prize, our priority. Without Him, our lives are without meaning.