Running a race is on the Apostle Paul’s mind in Philippians 3:12 Philippians 3:12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×. But how should we run?
[Steve Myers] I was watching sports the other day, and they had a little video of some of the fastest men in the world running a race. And it was kind of interesting as I watched this race – I’m not a big track fan or anything like that – but as this race was concluded it reminded me of a particular passage in the Bible. So I got out my Bible, and I read it all over again, just to remind myself of what it had to say. In fact, it’s the apostle Paul and it seems like he had a footrace in mind when he wrote this particular passage. It’s over in the book of Philippians. It’s in Philippians, and it’s in chapter 3, beginning about verse 12. And he says this: “Not that I’ve already attained or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Then he goes on and he says, “Brethren, I don’t count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do: forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 Philippians 3:12-14  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
 Brothers, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before,
 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
American King James Version×).
Now, I got to thinking about that passage watching that race, because as those runners were coming to the end of that short, short race, every one of them started leaning forward as they got to that finish line, and that’s about what Paul’s talking about here. When he says we are pressing toward that goal, it’s not just trying a little bit harder or running that much faster, but when we’re getting to the end, you’ve got to lean and try to get that best time possible.
And so, here we are. We’re in a spiritual race and we’re drawing near the end. We’re drawing near that time of the return of Christ. Now’s the time to lean, like the apostle Paul was talking about. In fact, it reminded me of that track event because those men that were racing had all done this before. All of them had their individual successes. As I listened to their stories – some of them had already been crowned the fastest man in the world. Others had won Olympic races. Others had won nationals. And yet, they in a sense had this concept in mind that Paul wrote about. It hadn’t mattered what went on in the past. And sometimes we read this passage and we think, well, don’t think about the things that were bad in your past, and don’t look back in that way. But actually, what Paul was writing about here is, forget even the successes that you’ve had and continue on, and strain forward, and strive for the best, and press on. And ultimately, lean forward. Take hold of it. Take hold of it. And ultimately, we can accomplish what God wants us to do.
And so we see that the most important part has already been accomplished in a way, because he writes here, we’re taking hold of, or we’re seizing, we’re grasping something – eternal life, in that sense – for which Christ already took hold of me, is what Paul says. So if we can imagine that – Christ has already got a hold of us. Is it possible for us to attain salvation? Paul’s saying yes. Christ has got a hold of us. Don’t shake loose. Strive forward. Reach forward. Strain. Strive. And most importantly, let’s remember to lean.
That’s BT Daily. We’ll see you next time.