At this time of the year many of us are thinking about goals. Turn on the TV or get on social media and you’ll find someone telling you about some kind of goal you should have, and what product you need in order to achieve said goal. I don’t know about you, but I can get sucked into this pretty easily if I allow myself to. I love having goals. I enjoy envisioning something I’d like to accomplish and thinking about how I’ll make it happen. I also enjoy using different tools to help me reach these goals. Stick me in the stationery store, and I could be entertained for hours. I love planners, notebooks, matching pens, and stickers! I often think these things are exactly what I need to accomplish my goals, but there have been many years that those pretty planners, stickers, and pens spent far more time collecting dust than actually helping me reach my goals.
Maybe you can relate, or maybe you’re one of those people that is disciplined to actually utilize your tools the whole year through. Either way, I hope we can all relate to Paul in Philippians 3. Here Paul lists all of the credentials that he has that would give him confidence in the flesh, but as we see here, he counts all these things as rubbish that he “...may gain Christ and be found in him not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:9b-11). Paul recognizes that he has not attained this goal, but continues to “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). Then he calls up the Philippians to imitate him as he imitates Christ, not because he thinks he’s perfect, but because he has confidence in his walk with Christ, and the work that the Holy Spirit has done and continues to do in his life.
As followers of Christ, growing in our knowledge of and love for Christ and calling others up to do the same are the most important goals to have. The good news is, we don’t have to have any fancy planners or pens to attain these goals. God has given us the only tools we need: the Holy Spirit, His Word, and the Church.
This year, let’s commit to using these tools, by spending time in the Word and prayer daily, and regularly fellowshipping with other believers, to press on toward the goal of knowing Christ and becoming more like him.