Theme For Open Heavens Devotional 20 August 2019 – YOU ARE NOT THERE YET.
Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12
READ: Philippians 3:10-16
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.
In today’s Bible reading, Apostle Paul’s example stands as a shining light on the importance of the role that our mind-set plays in determining whether we succeed or fail in life. His persistence and tenacity contributed to his success, coupled with a mind-set that was content but not complacent. Till he went home to be with the Lord, he was ever desirous of attaining new heights in God, regardless of his prior achievements. Like Paul, we should realize that it is not over until it is truly over. Many of us seem to be celebrating the victory we are yet to win, relaxing as if we have arrived. Beloved, I am using this medium to tell you that believers in Christ are continuous “work-in-progress” in the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, run the Christian race with the mindset that is never complacent, always remembering the words of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 10:12, saying:
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Beware of the spirit of pride and all the subtle ways it manifests itself. If given room to operate, pride will stop you from seeing yourself as a work-in-progress that needs to be examined and re-examined from time to time before the day of delivery and commissioning. Let Jesus remain your Master-builder and allow Him work on you until you see him in glory.
If we look at our Christian race in the light of sporting activities and apply the lessons learnt to our lives, it will give us a fair understanding of how well we are faring in our journey. We should not be athletes who are satisfied to just participate and enjoy the support and encouragement of spectators. Our ultimate goal should be to make heaven and receive the crown of righteousness, and so we must be prepared to undergo vigorous training in the word of God and persevere through the process of sanctification. Like the eagle, we should focus on our flight to heaven and ignore the multitude around us. Our minds must be fixed on the crown of righteousness and the glory that awaits the saints in heaven. So that we can go through our course in this world with joy. Let us submit ourselves to the discipline, control and regimented lifestyle required of us from time to time by our divinely appointed Coach, who is the Holy Spirit, and strive to live by the mind-set enunciated in Philippians 3:13-14, which says:
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
God bless you as you do so. Amen.
Father, help me to always be focused on the ultimate goal of making heaven, in Jesus’ Name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 Samuel 26-28
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 12: DEEPER, DEEPER IN THE LOVE OF JESUS
1. Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2. Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3. Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
4. Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
5. Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.
Credit For Open Heavens Devotional 20 August 2019 – Pastor E. Adeboye