Thursday, October 28, 2010

Looking Forward

Philippians 3: 13-14

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

The apostle Paul's words cut through the fog bank of the difficult problems and circumstances in this earthly life, and shine as a beacon towards our future, heavenly citizenship (Col 3: 1-2). They remind us to daily put on the new life, and to die to the old, sinful nature (Eph 4:22-24) - to remember our right standing with God through Christ, and all that means for our identity as sons and daughters of God our Father.

Looking behind us, outside of Christ, at the storms of life, we can easily forget the prize as the Israelites did when faced with the lack of food and water, and turn to other idols to fulfill our earthly needs. The golden calves we create and worship are our own ingenuity and skill; our self-sufficiency and self-realisation. These idols we create in our unbelief, in our anxiety we turn aside from what God has said and promised and trust in ourselves to get the job done.

As we press on through our wilderness life, we need to remember God's provision in the meat of His Word, in the water of His Spirit, and in the living bread of His Son. Leaving behind the false idols that deceive us, and our past sins that come back to haunt us. Leaving them behind in the waters of our baptism on our exodus straining towards the promised land.

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