Pressing On [Part 1]
By — April 24, 2018
Are you ready for some good news?
The Gospel doesn’t make you lazy – it energizes you toward a destiny.
Today’s Text: “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.” (Philippians 3:13–15, ESV)
The wonderful assurance of our salvation in Christ alone by grace alone through faith alone does not lead us into laziness as some have imagined. In fact, laziness is rooted more in fear than it is in the simple weakness of the flesh.
Proverbs 22:13 is, at first, puzzling: “The sluggard says, “there is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets.” You might expect the Proverb to say, “The coward says there is a lion….” Or, I wouldn’t be surprised if the voice of wisdom cried out, “The wise person says there is a lion outside….”
After all, only a fool would approach a roaring lion. The proverb isn’t addressing lion taming tactics; it is addressing the perils of fear. When we are afraid, we are rendered helpless.
When fearful that he’d lose the master’s money, one servant in Jesus’ parable of the talents buried the money. Upon his return, the master called the servant “slothful”.
Fear causes laziness. If we are afraid of failing, we will procrastinate or avoid a mission altogether. However, if the fear is removed, we can move forward.
The athlete that strains forward toward the finish line isn’t running away from something out of fear. He or she is sprinting toward a goal in faith.
If you’re feeling lazy and looking for energy to move forward, don’t look to your own strength or righteousness, look to Jesus. He’s the author and finisher of your faith. When you think much of the love of Jesus, the perfect love, it casts out fear. When fear is gone, energy returns. And that’s the Gospel!