Laying Hold of His Purpose
For every person reading this article … Christ has laid hold of you and has given you purpose in this life. Therefore, you need to lay hold of what His purpose is for you. Keep learning, keep persevering.
How Do We View Ourselves?
There is speculation that the apostle Paul perceived that some of the people in Philippi had the impression or feeling that they had achieved a sense of perfection in their Christian walk and did not need to do anything more. They may have viewed themselves as already being at their peak. This could be why Paul writes in Philippians 3:12-14 that he would never think of himself as having “arrived” in his Christian walk. Nor would he use the word “perfect.” He sees himself as needing to press on, to continue serving and to continue to grow in the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus had laid hold of Paul; therefore, Paul knew he must lay hold of what Christ’s purpose was for him. In the process of forgetting the past, there are at least two areas that can stand in our way: (1) failures and sins of the past and (2) achievements in the service of Christ. We might feel incompetent as we realize that we do not deserve, or may not be able, to achieve our goals because of past attempts and failures. Another area is more deceptive … we can become proud of what we have done for the sake of God and keep looking back in a false manner of pride.
Our Ultimate Goal
Paul has one goal, which is pressing on for the prize that is the fulfillment of the upward call of God. The prize, in Greek, is written as “brabeion.” This word is used in the New Testament in two passages of Scripture: Philippians 3:14 and I Corinthians 9:24. It is possible to think of the “prize,” which is Christ Himself as God’s call to the life above and also as the crown of life, the gift of His grace to those who persevere faithfully in their calling to the end.
I Corinthians 9:24-25 speaks of the rigid discipline that athletes experience when in training to receive a prize. Paul is making the comparison of the discipline for the physical body to be controlled to win the prize, so we need to train ourselves spiritually to seek the heavenly prize from above. Athletes may do it for a prize that will eventually wilt or attention from the crowd that will eventually fade away. In contrast, the crown of life for which we should be striving does not fade away, it is eternal.
Keeping Our Focus
In our aviation environments what is our purpose and goal? As a Chaplain and Chief Pilot, my goals are similar. I want employees or pilots to be able to continue moving forward and to grow in their character and their knowledge, having good solid character with integrity. I am honored to be a part of their spiritual and physical journey. How can God use me in my specific role(s)? I listen and pray when I sense there is pain. I intercede on behalf of those that may not have a praying community to intercede for them.
Keep training, do not stop, keep looking ahead and keep the focus on Christ Jesus, our living hope. EK
“… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me … 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.” Philippians 3:12-14
This article was written by Eugene Kraybill. Eugene serves on our FCAP Board of Directors and as Senior Chaplain at the Washington-Dulles International Airport. He is regional Chief Pilot for Mesa Airlines at IAD. His wife Christina also serves in the IAD Chapel.