"Not that I have already reached the goal…but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.…one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus." — Philippians 3:12–14
As long as we are involved in athletics, we are going to encounter adversity on a daily basis. An athlete will come face to face with failure, mistakes, and errors. As coaches, we will come face to face with pressures to win, compliance issues, ineligible players, and recruiting battles. As people we are tested on and off the field by sin and Satan. In almost all sports, there is a certain degree of defense needed in order to win the game. How do we as Christian coaches defend against Satan to become a champion in heaven?
In Philippians 3, Paul helps us to understand that “pursuing the goal” is a championship play in God’s playbook. We need to keep moving forward. Champions do not dwell in the past. We may learn from the past, but we don’t spend time in the negative; we must stay in the positive. Paul tells us that he presses on because he has “been taken hold of by Christ Jesus” (Php 3:12).
In Philippians 3:17 Paul challenges us to be brothers and sisters toward each other and to help others. Find a brother or sister who will move forward with you. Find a mentor to help you grow spiritually. God wants us to forge ahead and grasp the fullness of Jesus.
Jesus is our mentor. The Bible is our playbook. Our heart is the main playing field. Jesus is the head umpire or referee!
1. When it comes to moving on and letting go of the past, what grade would you give yourself?
2. What “prize” are you trying to win?
3. If you could compare your life with Christ right now to a game day, where would you be? Warming up, batting practice, the first inning, seventh inning stretch, or jumping on the pile on the mound?
Extra Reading: Psalm 37:16–20; Jeremiah 15:15–21; Philippians 3:12–17
Father, help me learn from the past and then forget it, and to look to You in times of struggle. Amen.