Have you ever gone to Bible study at another woman's house and come home feeling like your house isn't enough? Sadly, I have. Have you ever looked through all of those Pinterest home projects and blog home tours and been a bit sad that your house will never look like those homes? I have.
Have you ever wondered if the focus of our lives is where God asks it to be? Yes, I have too.
Recently a friend sent me a video of Francis Chan teaching. He has a way of making the truths of the Bible tangible.
I have read Philippians 3:12-21 numerous times and never understood it the way Francis Chan helped me to in that video.
"...I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (verses 12-14)
Yes, I have always envisioned a race and fighting the good fight and pursuing Jesus. I have pictured striving for Christ and reading His word and prayers and missions. But I have somehow skimmed over the "forgetting what is behind" part.
Have I forgotten what is behind? There are sins in my past that I let myself revisit again and again. I say things like, "I can accept God's forgiveness, but I can't forgive myself." I continue to get down on myself for things I have said to my children or ways I have behaved. I insist on wallowing in my pain, hurt, or sins. But Paul forgot what was behind.
Do I strain toward what is ahead? Honestly, I don't often look forward to heaven. It's intangible and unimaginable. Heaven isn't as real to me as dirty dishes and piles of laundry. But I am not "straining toward the goal" of clean laundry and perfect children. I am straining toward the goal of spending eternity with Christ.
"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." (verses 18-19)
Paul saw such an urgency in this message that he was brought to tears.
An enemy!?!? Do I live as an enemy of the cross? Yes, I focus on things that will bring comfort on earth, but regret in heaven. Oh how often I make my stomach my God. How often I put my desire for a put-together home higher than my desire for Christ and heaven. How many times I've chosen safety and comfort over work that will count for eternity.
"But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ." (verse 20)
Do I live as a citizen of heaven or of earth? Do I eagerly await my Savior? Do I insist on focusing on the stuff of earth? Do I have a true perspective of the length of time I will spend on earth?
If you're reading in a feed, click here for the video from Francis Chan. It's only five minutes and I promise you won't regret spending them this way. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF_x8dsvb_4]