Phil. 3:14 "I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
God calls us to press on. Pressing on is the worst. I mean, if I'm honest pressing on is the least bit exciting thing ever. When I picture someone pressing on in my head I see a guy with sweat dripping down his face, exhaustion setting in, dirty, feeling like he can barely breathe, taking the smallest steps possible and hardly making progress. This isn't the centerfold shot that we see in magazines of fitness models with makeup on but more like the red-faced, puffy eyed, out of breath people we tend to see in the mirror.
Sometimes I wonder why God, through Paul, tells us to press on. It's like Paul's a coach encouraging us to go the extra mile, sneak in the last rep, push through the pain and keep your eyes on the goal. What coach Paul is really trying to tell us is that being a Christian isn't easy. In fact, if your life is anything like Paul's it actually sounds like one of those mud races. Here's an excerpt from2 Corinthians 11:
"Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure."
I'm not saying that the Christian life is always going to be like a 007 movie where you can't catch a break but there are times when it seems a bit overwhelming. Paul knew that because the Christian life is hard we need to keep our eyes on the goal to stay motivated. Our goal is that when we see Jesus he will tell us, "Well done good and faithful servant." Next time we're tempted to just give up, or give in to temptation, or just stop showing up remember the goal. It doesn't matter how small your steps are if you're moving in the right direction.