“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.
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, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
The Apostle Paul writes a letter to the Church at Philippi from prison. Paul, the one who was actively changing the world, stayed on fire, started churches, wrote 2/3 of the New Testament, and arguably the most spectacular Christian who ever lived, humbly says, “I’m not perfect, I’m not even there yet.” This should provide every one of us with a collective sigh of relief. I mean after all, Paul was pretty much “the man” if you ask me. He endured beatings, betrayals, shipwrecks and danger upon danger. He surely could have boasted of all he’s done for Christ and His mission. Yet Paul chose not to look back on his accomplishments. He didn’t want them to steal or lessen his focus and entice him to complacency and indifference. He didn’t even look back at his failures. In essence he says it all amounts to nothing.
He’s encouraging the Church to look at their lives the same way. All of your accomplishments were great and they brought you to where you are today. But they are not where you end. There is so much more that God wants to accomplish through you. He wants to continue to use you for His divine purposes. All of your failures were no doubt debilitating, but that’s okay, there is still so much more for you to do.
In verse 12 of Philippians chapter 3, Paul talks about knowing Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings and His resurrection power. Do you know everything there is to know about Christ? Only an immature person would say, “yes.” So assuming you’re mature and self-aware you answered “no” to that question. When I answered “no” I realized then if that’s the case, there is no such thing as plateauing. The concept of getting to a point in your life and having no further direction or getting stuck in the place of, “What’s next?” becomes absolutely powerless. Choose to have selective amnesia about all of the accomplishments and the failures of your past. Forget about them. They don’t mean anything in the grand scheme of life in Christ. He is the object of our affection. He is the goal of all of our efforts and striving. Paul is saying, get to know Christ better. Through suffering, through trials, through highs and lows, you have never been closer to Him. As you seek Him you will find all of the purpose, meaning, and satisfaction your heart could ever muster up.