Reach forward–NOT Back

Photo by Jens Johnsson on

Text: Philippians 3:12-21

Just like many other mamas who make career sacrifices in order to be more hands on with their kiddos, I too occassionally feel the urge to to go back to my previous profession. I am mature enough in my faith to know that it would be terrible decision for my family (Proverbs 14:1) and I do believe that God truly has called me to authorship and other entrepreneurial ventures; but in the slow times, the waiting seasons, I get antsy waiting on God. I want to see results now. And my subconscious starts scheming up plans to get me there in the quickest way possible—by turning back.

However, we industrious women must be patient, wait on the Lord, and stop trying to get results and instant glory for ourselves. Even though, like Paul (the divinely inspired author of Phillipians), we are not fully mature in our faith, we must “make every effort to take hold of it because [we] also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12)

Easier said than done, right? I totally agree. Fortunately, the text tells us how:

“But 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 3:13-14)

So the key is to forget what is behind us and not to long to go back to previous seasons of our lives, but rather we need to pursue with fervor the only goal worth pursuing, which is chasing after the call of Christ Jesus. Chase after whatever He calls you to—which is first and foremost His kingdom and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). If you are “called according to His purpose,” trust His promise that ‘all things will work together for your good’ (Romans 8:28). Also rest in the fact that if you pursue Him first, you don’t worry about the details—all the things that you need day-to-day will be added unto you 🙂

Not convinced? God knew that there might be skeptics in the group 😉 Let’s keep reading:

“Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you.” (Philippians 3:15)

Now if we disagree with any of what the Scriptures call us to (i.e. I struggled with submitting to my husband), then God will reveal to us the same truth that He revealed to Paul. That truth: Stop thinking about the nonsense of the past/present; submit to God, God’s word, and the sanctifying work of His Spirit; and focus your efforts completely on pursuing the things of Christ Jesus.

Overwhelmed? Just remember: “[O]ur citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20). It won’t be easy to think this way at first, but as we mature in our faith, this line of thought should become more and more natural for us, trusting more and more in Jesus’ power (the Trinitarian power that He has to “[enable] Him[self] to subject everything to Himself” (Philippians 3:21)) to deliver all that He has promised and more ☺️

Still not convinced? Not sure that God is big enough to work in your situation? Think about how silly the Israelites look in hindsight after constantly complaining to Moses in the desert. They gripped regularly that would have been better off left in their previous season—trapped as slaves in Egypt. Crazy right? In hindsight, we can see how silly they were longing to go back instead of making haste towards the Promised Land full of milk, honey, and delicious fruit. If God can deliver a nation of people out of slavery and make them into a victorious, conquering nation, don’t you think that He can sort out your predicaments? Don’t you think that this new season of your life can be even better than your last one?

Conclusion: As we mature in our faith (a process that will not be finished until physical death or God calls us home), it will get easier to trust Him. YES, it will get easier to trust Him and His timing. In His perfect time and season everything will come together perfectly—as it has so many times before. And we will then be able to testify to the work of His mighty arm (as the Israelites in Exodus 15) and give Him all the glory that He is due.


What are your thoughts/reactions? Share your feedback in the comments section below!