“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”
Paul again reiterate the fact that he has not apprehended the prize yet. I am amazed at all that Paul went through up to this point in his ministry and he still doesn’t feel like he’s worthy of the prize. So often I look at myself and say “Hey Lord, I’m in good shape with you. I’ve done what you’ve asked me to do and I’m looking forward to my heavenly home. Come Lord Jesus come”. And here’s Paul, who was done multiplied many times over what I’ve done and suffered many times over what I’ve suffered, and yet he doesn’t feel like he’s apprehended the prize. To me that shows his humility and his desire to do all that he can to minister the gospel to as many people as he can. I need to develop a heart like that, one that does not ever quit ministering but just keeps on going and going and going – kind of like the Energizer Bunny, only with a different purpose.
He says there’s one thing that he does and then he lists three things – isn’t that just like us. First he says he’s going to forget about those things which are behind. That’s not easy. I want to divide these things that are behind into two categories. First it’s the accomplishments, second is disappointments.
Paul said he’s going to forget about the accomplishments that he’s already had. He knows that there’s still more than he needs to do and so he just wants to put the past behind him. Look at all the things that Paul accomplished! He started churches in many different communities. He brought up elders in those communities to be over those churches. He gave instruction to those churches on how they can grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He had true and faithful emissaries to travel back and forth to the churches and bring messages while he was imprisoned in Rome. And he suffered numerous difficulties getting this done. But he says those things don’t matter.
Then there were the disappointments. Easy for us to keep remembering those things where we weren’t successful and dwell on them. The enemy of our souls he’s really good at reminding us of those places where we have fallen short. The shortcomings are the things that we definitely need to leave behind. I’m sure there are areas where Paul felt like he had not done a good enough job. He wanted to leave those things behind as well
Reaching for those things which are before is something that we all need to look forward to. I know that I can’t wait until the day that I am able to get back out and Minister and talk about the healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has been so merciful to me in this cancer battle, and I want to share this testimony everywhere I go. God is faithful to keep us. This ministry is what is before me and I need to reach out and grab it. The blogs I have been writing have been wonderful, and they have ministered to hundreds. I am so thankful to have this venue of ministry, along with my Facebook page. I am anxious for the day that I can get out and share all this with people in person.
The third thing that Paul is going to do is in verse 14 and we will look at that tomorrow.