“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14)

We are a people of direction!

The Apostle Paul knows where he’s going. And as the people of God, so do we… Upwards!

Paul is not saying here that God is the ‘man upstairs’ or ‘the big man in the sky’, as some like to refer to Him. Rather, ‘up’ is a positive direction and the opposite of sinking, drowning, slipping, stumbling and falling. Not only that but this ‘up’ is not dependent on us. It is God who is calling us upwards. And so we get a wonderful picture of God drawing us ever upwards, despite whatever chaos may be happening around us.

The image that comes to mind is one of a drowning person in stormy seas, being winched to safety in a helicopter. While the person being rescued is still in contact with the water, they will continue to be tossed here and there by the waves, but that turmoil does not affect the upward movement of the rope and the person knows that, after riding out a few more moments of turmoil, they will end up in the helicopter.

Knowing where we’re going, gives us great confidence right now and is a great encouragement as we seek to ‘stand firm and not be moved’ amongst the pressures of our lives. For truly, we have not been abandoned to wait aimlessly or left to stand firm for as long as we can, before succumbing to inevitable defeat. Far from it, we can stand firm amidst the turmoil while God draws us ever upwards to Himself, until the day when we fully experience the victory that has already been won for us in Christ Jesus.

Knowing where we’re going, rather than leaving us with our head in the clouds, totally useless to the world around us, gives even greater purpose to our time here on earth. For since we do not have to worry about our own future, we can fully live into who God has called us to be and what He has called us to do. 

Knowing where we’re going, gives us the confidence and purpose to fully participate in the work that God is already doing right now.

May we live with that confidence and purpose, as we press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus!