Keep pressing!

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Friday, September 28, 2018

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 ESV

During the NBA finals of the 2015-2016 Season, the Cleveland Cavaliers were facing a 3-1 deficit. Since Game 5 was to be played at Oracle Arena, it was a foregone conclusion that the Warriors would again be crowned champion. But Cleveland staged an improbable comeback by winning the next three games. The Cavaliers never gave up; instead, they kept pressing game after game until they achieved their ultimate goal.

It’s easy to lose hope and feel defeated. When the odds are overwhelmingly against us, it takes a lot of mental strength and willpower to keep pressing. Sometimes we feel stuck on neutral and don’t know how to move ahead because the challenge we face is too difficult. Yet we must not allow ourselves to feel conquered because we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.

The Christian journey requires steadfastness. We have to keep on praying, keep on serving, keep on worshipping, keep on forgiving, and keep on loving others. The moment we stop doing any of those things- for whatever reason- we weaken our spiritual defenses and make it easier for the enemy to attack us.

In today’s text, Paul cautions the church at Philippi not to be overconfident and assume they have achieved spiritual nirvana. He told them that he is pressing toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Paul was pressing despite the fact he was beaten many times for preaching the gospel. He suffered an undisclosed illness that caused him much pain. He was arrested on many occasions and went to prison twice. Yet Paul was pressing because he had too much invested in the Gospel enterprise to give up.

There is a saying: if we are not growing, we are dying. I want to rephrase that and say: if we are not pressing forward we are regressing. We cannot afford to take one step forward and three steps backward. Some people never regain the momentum to move forward after a setback. The key is for us to make small stride every day so we can prevent apathy.

After all these years I have been working out, I am amazed how difficult it still is for me to get to the gym, some days. And when I miss one day, it’s easier to miss two days or one week. Then laziness turns into lethargy, and after a while, I begin to make excuses for not exercising altogether. Therefore, I have to keep pressing even when I feel tired, and my body aches.

Many people struggle to develop a prayer life because they assume fervency in prayer is no big deal. But the truth is that it takes a lot of discipline to pray without ceasing. We have to be intentional about praying to be fervent in prayer. That means praying when we feel like it or when we don’t. In other words, we have to keep pressing our way before the Lord in prayer every day.

Those who keep pressing will get the Lord’s attention. They will have the strength to overcome and the power to slay the giants in their lives. For those who are feeling stuck and thinking about giving up, I want to encourage you to keep pressing. The finish line is just ahead of you. You’ve come too far from where you started, so don’t give up now. Keep pressing when the sickness is terminal, or unemployment is prolonged, or the relationship is failing, or you’ve had a relapse with your addiction. Remember, the race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, but it is for those who keep pressing to the finish line.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, may you encourage those who are thinking about quitting on their selves and you. Please give them the courage to keep pressing.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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