Philippians 3:14-17 (KJV)
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
What is your greatest goal or aspiration in life? Is it to be successful or influential? Maybe like most people you would be happy with a little “peace” of mind or less stress. Whether you are totally motivated or just getting by there is a plan and purpose for your life that is hidden in your DNA and paved in every step that you take. It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, God made you that way further solidifying the notion that life is not necessarily all about you! You have a higher calling! You have greater potential! Jesus made everything you ever dared to dream completely possible for you to have and achieve. What are you doing to fly right and hit that mark? Salvation is not about what you do, but it does dictate your destination. Like anywhere that you choose to travel, there are often various methods of arrival. I like the one with the fewest detours, the least amount of stops and definitely limited traffic. Philippians 3 says “let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded” by referring back to pressing “toward the mark for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus.” As messy as it is salvation and redemption are to be beautiful and successful to those who will commit to the “mark”. How far are you willing to go to have God’s Absolute Best for your life? Not many are willing to commit their life to serving God and expanding His Kingdom on earth probably because most people really don’t believe that there is more to life than this. There has to be or human beings would be able to find satisfaction and contentment in the course of life rather than throwing themselves at everything that comes along hoping to find it. God’s purpose and intention for your life is for you to unlock the Kingdom of Heaven now and experience His Grace, Mercy, Love and Favor all the days of your life stepping out of this world into Eternity. Anything less is compromise and counterfeit. Salvation does not stop at the altar and commence when you die or Jesus returns. It is a way of life. It is to raise your standard of living. Children of God will work to have the same mind as Jesus Christ and follow closely in His Footsteps along the way. Intentional Christianity requires it and devotion to God demands it. Will you press toward the mark for the prize or settle for second best? It is totally up to you!
I Timothy 2:1-4 (NLT)
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
Godliness refers to religious character. Dignity refers to one’s personal character. As faith turns to confident hope, we believe that God has marked our lives with attainable purpose that can be found. It should most definitely change the way such a person lives. Prayer opens communication with the Lord and allows His Spirit to reveal our new identity as a Child of God. No longer bound by sin, guilt and shame we can walk boldly into the Presence of God. Setting our sights on the supernatural rather than settling for the natural we begin to understand God’s Plan and the Sequence of Time which grows exponentially by faith. No longer bound by our seventy or so years on this earth –a higher standard of living is established looking to the future of Heaven rather than a box in the ground. We were created with the express purpose to reign forever with Jesus Christ. This is an elevated calling that requires a higher standard of living no longer running back to the darkness or hiding sin deep down inside the heart. Instead, praying for kings and all who are in authority as God prepares us for the very same thing. We seek to live peaceful lives marked by godliness (religious character) and dignity (personal character). Do not be deceived godliness is not a religion but a relationship with the Lord that profoundly changes your life and dignity is not pride but humility that allows us to lay down our life for Jesus!
Revelation 22:1-5 (NLT)
Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations. No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
Note at the end of this glimpse into Heaven, it indicates that “they will reign forever and ever.” The Throne of God and the Lamb are established. It is in this place the true identity of the believer is revealed as strong might and over power sin and shame preparing us to reign forever. Are you ready for Eternity? Evaluate your goals in life. God has called you to be holy because He is holy and it will be a requirement to live in His Presence in the midst of His Glory forever. As a believer and intentional Christian, this should be your goal as you constantly align and often realign your life with the mark of the high calling of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 12:12-14 (NLT)
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
It is time to get a grip and strengthen those weak knees. You will never take hold of all God has for you aside from faith that comes from hearing and understanding found in the Word of God. His Voice will guide you above temporary trouble to the higher calling for your life that reaches beyond manmade goals and aspirations to the indescribable and overwhelming Plan of God that incorporates every detail of your life good and bad working all of it into the perfect plan of salvation, redemption and blessing that you could never create on your own. We must take hold of God’s Truth and pray for understanding, wisdom, discernment and revelation to discover who God has intended us to be and strive to claim that identity in the Name of Jesus Christ. The world may call you many things and point you in many different directions but God has marked a straight path for your feet that leads to strong faith and confident hope that opens the windows of Heaven over your life. Work at living in peace with God and everyone else. Claim forgiveness first in all controversies and disagreements uprooting bitterness at all costs. You are called to a holy life which is consecrated and separated from sin and evil of every kind. Those who choose to live in a constant state of compromise with a casual Christian approach will be disappointed in the end. Dying is not your destiny. You are called to eternal life that will last forever. Set a higher standard for yourself and decide to never ever settle for less than what God has promised you in His Word and by His Voice. Stay strong! Keep your grip. Stay on those knees and keep praying. There is more to life than this for those who choose to mark a straight path and stay on target!
Proverbs 4:25-27 (NLT)
Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
To believe is a way of life and should change the way that you live. If it does not, then you really don’t believe what you think that you do. I can believe that a chair will hold my weight but my refusal to sit down tells the truth about my head and heart. My head does not have confidence and my heart does not believe it is strong enough to hold me so I am not willing to take a chance. Many people will never attempt to trust God by faith because they do not believe in His Love, Grace, Mercy and Power in the first place. How far are you willing to go to prove that you trust the Lord without reservation? How long will you wait because you know that He is coming? One’s ability to focus on Eternity rather than today will keep them strong and headed toward the mark. For those who fix their eyes on the prize refusing to deviate will have it one day. Marking a straight path sometimes means setting boundaries in our weakness. Do not get sidetracked by evil which is anything that is contrary to God’s Word, His Will and His Way. If Jesus didn’t do it, then why would it be okay for if you are following the Lord. The Old Testament is equally as relevant as the New Testament. Ignorance is not an excuse for God’s Children to continue to live in sin and continually stray into the darkness. You are a Child of the Light. Live like it. Be focused on the prize and not easily distracted along the way! Mark out a straight path for your feet and stay there!
I Peter 2:9-10 (NLT)
But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.”
When you were a sinner living by selfish desires in the darkness of this world, you had no identity. You were just another face in the crowd, but when you accepted the Gift of Salvation everything changed as you assumed a new identity. No one sees the past you left behind unless you choose to bring it back up. No one cares what you did yesterday in the Light of His Amazing Grace. You have become a royal priest. You are God’s Very Own Possession increasing your personal worth exponentially. You can live in the Light because you have nothing to hide. You are a Prince or Princess in training just waiting for Jesus to come back. You do not have to fight for your kingdom. The keys were handed to you by the Lord! What are you waiting for? You are God’s People. You received mercy now live like it!
Romans 9:22-23 (NLT)
In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory.
You were created to share the Glory of God by the Grace of Jesus Christ. There is no excuse for wallowing in the past and chasing the dark so stop it and decide to raise your reputation. You are a Child of the Living God and He expects you to act like it.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV)
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.
The Word of God has indicated that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Heaven with Jesus! There is nothing that is impossible for you! He created you to have dominion on this earth and in Heaven with the Lord one day! You are holy and without blame thanks to Jesus. God decided to adopt us as His Sons and Daughters changing who we are and what we are by design. He finds “good pleasure” in His People and accepts us as Beloved. What have you done to accept this High Calling and Destiny for your life? You were predestined and prepared for such a time as this now it is time to take careful and steady aim and mark out the steps of your life to have God’s Best and fulfill His Plan for you! Everything is there all you have to do is mark a line in the sand and claim what is rightfully yours. To mark is to take notice, give your attention and then consider. Salvation brought God’s Grace, Mercy and Love to your notice. Now give the Lord your full attention choosing to live in godliness and dignity fit for a Child of the King. Stay focused. Rely on His Strength, Power and Guidance setting your sights and standards higher than what you see today. You can be all God has promised if by faith you will only believe that it is your calling in Jesus Christ. You have a reputation to uphold so live like it!
Romans 8:28-30 (NKJV)
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
You are called according to His Purpose. God knew you when He formed you and predestined you to be conformed and transformed into the Image of His Son so you may be the firstborn of many children. You are blessed with purpose and potential. You possess all that you need to achieve everything that God has allowed you to dream and hope for. You have been justified (or just as if you never sinned) removing every single barrier that once stood between you and this high calling. Take aim! Determine to make it to this place of undeserved privilege! On your mark, get set, now GO!