“But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting for the arrival of the Savior, the master Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthly bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole, with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around Him.” – Phil. 3 MSG
Hi y’all 👋🏼
Just hopping on to share what resonated with me this morning, and how I’m refocusing on the goal. Not my “personal goals,” but God’s actual end goal for my life.
In Philippians 3, Paul tells us that even though he’s not perfect, he’s pressing towards the goal of Christ, and urges us to keep running along this narrow path, too. We can assume that “reaching Christ” means a few things:
1. We have made it to the end of our lives, and are meeting Him in heaven.
2. We have become complete in Him – as daily we are transformed to be like him, we have finally completed the journey and no longer have to worry about sin anymore.
3. All our worries and struggles and tears are gone, and we have eternal joy.
4. Anyone we wanted to bring along with us has come with us! Our influence is complete and we will see the results of our efforts, but our window of opportunity/influence has also closed.
With that said, a goal is something we should remind ourselves of every day, in order to keep our focus and priorities in check. Yet, physical appearance, worldly status, personal gain, and physical and emotional comfort are often closer to the front of our minds. I might not consider these to be my top priorities, but the time I spend thinking about them sure is telling! This is, to a degree, normal – but part of the process of becoming like Christ is trading these thoughts and goals for his thoughts, and his goals – which ultimately make us so much happier. That’s the crazy thing – even though it never looks like it, doing the tough thing and letting go of what we want is sometimes the only way to joy. And if we’d like our friends to experience the joy we experience, our best shot is to let go of selfishness and step into love for them.
I found it interesting that Paul mentions the body in this chapter of his letter. He says we’ll receive a new one at the end of time as we know it – a beautiful one. That’ll be about when we’ve become comfortable in ours on earth, won’t it? So why not go ahead and refocus from physical to spiritual? No better time like the present. You might remember the verse that says “man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” This is hard to grasp, but so true. To begin to understand this, think of the beauty we experience in a sincere smile from someone we love, accompanied by kind words – to me, that’s a glimpse of the beauty that God’s looking for. It’s not self-serving, but lifts others up. Another example is self-sacrificing love like many of us have seen in a parent or friend – there is such a beauty in that kind of love, because it’s even more like Christ’s.
The bottom line is that, when we get caught up in ourselves, we aren’t our most beautiful. When we get caught up in Christ, we’ll finally arrive. And as we seek him, it is my prayer that our other habits naturally fall into place. I have seen this evident in my own life in many areas – when I refocus, everything changes for the better. Seeking God through His word and prayer leads to finding out his ultimate plan for us, diet and appearance included. And His plans are more perfect than we could imagine. Our relationship to food also gives us a great indication of our spiritual health, in my opinion. If it’s out of whack, that may indicate that we’re looking somewhere else besides Christ for the satisfaction of our needs and desires. Oddly enough, the times in life that I have been most focused on Christ, I have been most happy with all the other areas in my life – regardless of the actual situational factors present.
Let’s press on towards the goal – and instead of putting all of our stock in ourselves, our abilities, appearances, comfort, or desires – let’s put it in Christ.
Much love 💗