Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. – Philippians 3:12
I press on, that I may know Him. He’s looking forward when he shall know the Lord as he is known, face to face. Let everyone who has that hope in Him — He does the same right now, “Lord, I want to know You more and more, right now.”
I mean what woman is engaged to a man that doesn’t want to know more intimacy right now before that wedding day. What miner comes into a gold mine and is satisfied with the first day’s haul? No! He wants more and more right now! Paul says, “That I may know Him!” Now keep in mind, we are talking about pressing on, from what? Paul, didn’t you know the Lord? “Oh yes! But I want to know Him more!”
Didn’t you have the power of the resurrection? “Yes, I want more.” The power of the resurrection, he was always talking about this power. The kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power. I labor, striving according to His power—which mightily works in me. The power of the resurrection, to overcome sin.
You see, when an airplane, when it loses power, it starts going down, the gravity starts overtaking it and the plane goes down. When the power comes back, then it’s able to overcome the force, the pull of gravity. The same way with sin, with lust, for that old depravity that remains in us. The power of the resurrection! Paul says, “That’s, that’s what I need! That’s what I want. That’s what I press on for. Yes. Right now.”
The power to say “yes.” The power to say “no.” The power to keep my mouth shut. The power to not retaliate, not take into account a wrong suffered. The power to control my mind, my mental thoughts. The power to get out of bed, to study the Bible, to rise up and pray. You know, it is ridiculous isn’t it, for us to pray, “Lord, lead me not into temptation.” And then turn right around and put ourselves in a place of temptation!
Paul what did you press on with, with what attitude? I press on with single-minded devotion to Jesus. I count it all loss, to gain Christ! Rutherford says, “Put a low value on everything else, but Christ.” And that Paul did. He says, “It’s rubbish, compared to this surpassing value.” I count it all loss, that I may gain Christ! Let nothing get in the way.
And what does it profit a man if he gained the whole world and lose his soul? We ought to be gripped with the realization that we are not there yet! We haven’t made it to heaven yet. We’ve still got ground to take. We’ve still got a race to run. We’ve come this far, but we can’t look back at other runners. We can’t look back at the ground we’ve covered. You’re sure to be hindered or destroyed. You’ve got to look forward headlong, stretching, reaching, gapping, running, pressing toward the mark. All the way to the end.
Or do you think that you have pretty well seen all that God would have for you? Remember godly men like Job, like Daniel, like Ezekiel, like John the apostle; When God came to these godly men and revealed Himself in a fuller way, they were like dead men! What have we seen of God? It could be compared to a grain of sand on a whole seashore. We’ve but seen the fringes of His ways. Much reason to press on. This attitude, this attitude of an awareness of our short-coming, of our imperfection; That attitude, brethren, is perfection. What do we have here in verse 15—“Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude.” What attitude? What is this perfect attitude? It is the attitude that I must press on! He has no holiness who thinks he has enough. We ought to take the attitude of old Caleb; Towards the end of his life, he was still saying “Give me this hill country. I want more!”