The 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 3:13-14)
With the Olympics captivating our attention at present, the dedication, total commitment and perseverance of the athletes deserve our respect and recognition. But what drives them? What motivates these people to give their lives to such relentless and rigorous preparation?
The one thing that every Olympian strives for is to win a gold medal. To have that medal hung around your neck is the ultimate prize. This makes all their grueling, relentless perseverance worth it. A medal is the prize, the goal for all they do.
But what about a prize, a reward, a goal, that has eternal value?
This is what the apostle Paul is on about in our text above. His goal in life is not on a temporary medal but on an everlasting, eternal reward promised to all those who have faith in Jesus Christ. He uses athletic terms to get his point across. He describes how his whole worldview is put into practice through persevering in life for the Lord. The promised “prize of the upward call of God In Christ Jesus” is what captivates his being.
John Piper wrote in his book Secret Church; “Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians won’t survive the days ahead.” (Grace Quotes)
This begs the challenging question, “What drives and motivates me?” “Do I have a ‘wimpy’ worldview that treats as secondary “the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus?”
May we as believers “run with endurance the race that is set before us..” (Heb 12:1) I am reminded of a unique race the ancient Greeks held in the Olympic games. Let this be a challenge to every believer. “The winner was not the runner who finished first. It was the runner who finished with his torch still lit. I want to run all the way with the flame of my torch still lit for Him.” (Fan The Flame; Joseph Stowell - Grace Quotes)