Philippians – Radical Joy
When traveling, there are times of getting lost along the way. You make a wrong turn and your GPS immediately begins it’s task of setting you straight. “Rerouting…recalculating…make a u-turn now!” “Get back on the right road for your own good”, your GPS seems to shout at you. What do you do? Do you follow the advice and turn around so you can get back on the best and most efficient roads home or do you stubbornly decide, no, I’ll go my own way. No, I’m not familiar with these roads or this part of the country, but if I go my own way long enough I will surely find home. Excuse me, but, how ridiculous!
Paul is giving believers the same advice. Christ lives in us. His Holy Spirit, our personal, inner GPS, guides us through this journey called life…if we let Him. He will quickly help us make course corrections when we, as humans, take a wrong turn. We must stay focused on the goal of Christ and living with Him in our forever home. We are only travelers now who rely on His Holy Spirit to guide and correct us on the journey. There’s no turning back now, is there?
“There’s far more to life for us” who believe in Jesus! We’re citizens of high heaven!”, Paul enthusiastically shouts. Jesus IS coming back and will take us home with Him…forever. AND in the process He will make us fit for heaven by transforming these tired earthly bodies to glorious, beautiful bodies like His own. We will be made whole with His power, the same power that defeated death here so that we can have eternal life there. There’s no turning back, friends!
Side story. My dad, in the days following my mom’s passing from this life to life with Jesus, had a vivid dream. He got out of bed to tell me about this dream with a smile and tears streaming down his face. “I saw and heard your mom speaking to me so clearly. She said, ‘Vernon, don’t worry about me. I’m beautiful here. Someday, you will be here, too. And you will be whole, too.” I believe this was the Holy Spirit’s way of reminding my dad of the ultimate goal of every believer while comforting him in his grief. We don’t lose. We can’t lose. We gain. There’s no turning back, not when Jesus is ahead. And what about the “great cloud of witnesses” who have gone on before us, rooting us on as we run the race here?
Yes, I’m very sure about Jesus. There’s no turning back to go our own stubborn way. We must run the race to the finish! “God beckons us onward–to Jesus! I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”, says Paul. We have the same goal! No turning back now! That would be ridiculous.
Philippians 3, The Message
Focused on the Goal
Philippians 3 heaven bound12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15-16 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
Are you lost on the journey?
Can I remind you of the joy of following Jesus? Oh, what joy to know Jesus Christ as Savior AND Lord! Oh, what a Savior! Oh, what peace we have when His Holy Spirit guides and even corrects our path and lights the way to Jesus. God wants only the best for us. Even when the path is rocky and hard to manuever, His hand is there to guide us over the rough places. Do we follow the King of kings and Lord of lords or the one who wants to destroy us. There are only two choices. Choose wisely. Choose Jesus! I’m praying you will.
In Jesus Name, Amen
And I’m singing…
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, no turning back!
(I’m also singing this in Creole…yes, I still remember singing this with my brothers and sisters in Haiti who are devoted to Jesus! I praise God for you!)

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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