I forget what’s behind me,
and reach out for it,
what’s in front of me.
Philippians 3, 13
Paul had a good career ahead of him, but for Christ he threw everything away to follow Him. Jesus became his Lord, altogether. Without Jesus he wanted to do nothing more; he considered everything else to be dirt. He reached out for what was ahead of him: Heaven, Christ, communion with God; – and he forgets what lies behind him: Fame, glory, money, luxury, science, recognition, position. It is no longer worth anything to him.
Christ has become so important to him, Christ has penetrated him so deeply, has become so vital to Paul that he wants nothing else. Everything for Him who gives him everything: Strength, joy, contentment, harmony, communion with God, food, clothing and drink, a place for the night, preservation… there is nothing that Christ could not give him. Even after beatings in prison he was so comforted that he could sing gratefully.
The fellowship with Jesus became more important to him than anything else. No more compromises at Christ’s expense! No other gods, no other human beings, dead or alive, no one owned his thanks and his requests, only Jesus. Only His honour was still important. Everything else became a help, but not a competition for Jesus.
He relied entirely on Jesus. Even when his ship ran aground. And the LORD answered him, “You and all who are with you, for whom you have prayed, I give into your hand. They will all live; not one of them will die. – And so it came to pass, all survived the shipwreck, even the non-swimmers.
God stood by Paul because He saw his heart. God could do great things through him, for he alone sought God’s glory. Also through us, God can do great things, when we are so imbued with Him. No compromises!!
Oh, Jesus, I don’t want to waste my time and fritter it away. I want to look for Your face and live with You. For Thou alone, for in Thee there is all I need.