Twice in chapter 3 of Philippians, Paul speaks of his manner of life by saying ‘I press on…’ He goes on to state that in doing so there are three aspects of such a lifestyle.
First, “I have not attained yet.” We are better at living a holy and godly life than we were, but we can yet grow and ‘perfect holiness’ (cp. 2Cor. 7:1). Such does not demean such accomplishments, it just means that I have room (and need) of more growth.
Second, “I forget what lies behind.” Several times Paul has likened our life as a disciple as a ‘race’. With such image we are instructed that we are not done running yet. To look back will in fact hinder our forward progress. Such does NOT mean we haven’t learned from our experiences, but that having learned such lessons, we yet must continue.
Third, “I reach forward to what lies ahead.” Thus, we come to where we started – ‘I reach’ is his ‘pressing on’ towards the goal. Sport psychologists routinely advise athletes to always keep their eye on the goal. So, we are advised to ever fix our eyes upon Jesus (Heb. 12:2); set our minds on things above and not things here (Col. 3:1-2); set our minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:4-6); and to fix our hope on the grace to be revealed (1Pet. 1:13).
Paul could thus write near the end of his earthly life: “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
Is this your rule of life?