13 Brothers and sisters, 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, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 3:13-14
The New Year brings with it an array of emotions for many people. There are some who continue to replay the painful and disappointing events of 2012. There are also those who had an awesome year and they have resolved to take a slack posture this year because everything seems to be going so...smooth.
Well, I like the Apostle Paul, who wrote this letter to the church of Philippi from a physical posture of discomfort, but with a powerful spiritual posture of great faith and hope. Paul offers us in this dispensation a hope as well as we enter a seemingly uncertain place in the new year.
There are four things that God would say to all of us who desire to receive directions for entering the year of 2013. Well, I believe that He has already embedded those directions within the scripture text referenced above.
Point 1: You must shift your focus. This is why the Apostle Paul encouraged the saints of Philippi to forget what is behind. The things that took place in 2012 cannot be erased. You may have the opportunity to improve some of the situations, but you cannot dwell on past failures and disappointments too long. In 2013, you must move on and begin to shift your mind to those things that are ahead. It is difficult to focus on the past and embrace the future at the same time. You must let go of one of the two.
Point 2: You must come into alignment. This simply means begin to believe what God has already ordained for your life. Accept the will of God for you as a member of the Body of Christ and as an individual believer. Look at Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He had to shift His focus off of the horrible method of death on the cross. Instead, He came into alignment with God's will because He saw your future and my future at stake. Nevertheless, Thy will be done (Luke 22:42).
Point 3: You must stretch out. In the text, the Apostle Paul directed the saints to strain forward. Stretch out. This is significant! The posture you had in 2012, it just will not work. God wants to stretch you beyond the point that you have already determined you cannot go any further. Therefore, He is going to stretch you and stretch you. He is going to stretch your faith, commitment, trust and your ability. Stretch out! Reach for it knowing God has already planned everything ahead of you. Stretch even if it hurts. Get uncomfortable! You will not regret stretching when God gets finish using you.
Point 4: You must go forth. There is no more time to contemplate. You must move and move now in that which God has called you to do. Take the first step. Walk in your calling with the assurance that you have been anointed to do the job, to preach, to teach, to witness, to sing, to serve, to lead. Go Forth!
It is simple my brother and my sister. You have only to shift-align-stretch-go forth. The Higher Calling in Christ is waiting for you!
- Kevin M. Jackson, M.A., M. Div.
- Kevin M. Jackson, A 1994 graduate of Savannah State University with a B.S. degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Urban Education from Norfolk State University and a Masters of Divinity from Liberty University. Elder Jackson is a Chaplain in the United States Navy. He worked as a Science educator for over 14 years. Mr. Jackson is the author of two books; When God Speaks and Life Lessons For My Sons. He is the father of Ephraim, Elim and Elisha and several spiritual sons. Elder Jackson is married to Nila Nash Jackson.