“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
Have you ever wondered if it’d be better or more rewarding to live a life of striving for the world’s approval instead of God’s? I have. I have thought about how doing things that God doesn’t necessarily recommend or approve of can bring so much happiness and popularity in this world and society. The difference is, however, that these things are temporary and won’t last.
If we’re honest, we’ve all experienced these thoughts and feelings, but the reality is that we are eternal beings, so we have to live lives focused on the “upward call” described by Paul in today's verse. It is difficult to be the person who doesn’t always do whatever they want, doesn’t go to the party, doesn’t exalt themselves for popularity, or doesn’t put others down to be funny. Many times, actions like these bring praise and approval from the world; however, God has a different idea of what is praise-worthy, and His approval is the only one that truly matters!
It would be easy just to give up and to give oneself over to living like the world and searching for its recognition. But we are called by God to be set apart and to live a different life, one that is invested in and dedicated to the things of God!
Jesus is eternal, He is all and everything that we need, and His love will last forever. I want to encourage you today that a life lived for God isn’t pointless; it is you giving up your desires to stand out and show others who Christ is because you believe that they are worthy of knowing Him! You will have to choose on “missing out” on some things, but your reward in Heaven will be that much greater and your relationship with God that much closer. Press on! Keep going!
God, I ask today that You would forgive me when I envy the lives of others. Help me to truly enjoy You, and the life You offer each of us. Keep my focus on You. Thank you for strengthening me to love others! In Jesus name, Amen.