Run with it;

Paul writes, “…I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead”
(Philippians 3:13, NLT)


Joel Osteen says, “That means the good and the bad. Sometimes our past victories keep us from rising higher as much as our past failures can. If we don’t let go of the old, we’ll never be able to embrace the new.”

Paul and Joel sure have given us some power words if we just pick them up and run with them.

What do you think?

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24 thoughts on “Run with it;

  1. Sounds like truth to me. Regarding past victories, my mother used to remind me shortly after an accomplishment with a saying that went someting like this: “Don’t rest on your laurels”. That was a poke that said, get up and get going to the next thing at hand. Also,I have to practice at overcoming the selfish introspection of dwelling on failures which handicaps me from focusing on and being in the now of what’s going on. That doesn’t mean I need to dismiss or brush over it and not deal with it, but once dealt with as best I can, move on or it’s very harmful. Also saps creativity.

  2. I agree with Debi…adding another thought…I at times press with the wrong motives. The opposite of Paul… For instance, Paul says, “That I may know him. That I may be fully acquainted with his nature, his character, his work, and with the salvation which he has wrought out. It is one of the highest objects of desire in the mind of the Christian to know Christ. See Barnes “Ephesians 3:19”.

    Barnes Notes also says, “This chapter (Philippians 3) consists, in the main, of exhortations to holy living, and to an effort to make great attainments in the divine life. It is full of tenderness and affection, and is one of the most beautiful appeals which can anywhere be found to induce Christians to devote themselves to the service of the Redeemer.”

    As we continue to read and study (Barnes Notes) this chapter in full we see many eye popping revelations like: Beware of Dogs, “The term dog is used to denote a person that is shameless, impudent, malignant, snarling, dissatisfied, and
    contentious,…” Also, says, evil workers.

    When we start to move forward it takes some adjusting and thought (mind action) to where and with whom we are moving forward with. I think this is part of the mind adjustment. Forget the past includes things and the people of those things….

  3. That is true. The former accomplishments were for that time and space. Now there are new things to reach for, new thought patterns to try to achieve to untwist perverted thought(s) that keep your spiritual life sedentary.
    We can allow our past failures to stymy us from going forward to new ways of doing things and looking at things. Even if “”””the-OLD-WAYS-seem-better-and-easier and-we-like-to-do-it-that-way-and-what’s-wrong-with-that?…”””But what does it matter? The world moves on. God moves ahead. You either go with God or you can ‘sit in Sodom’. “Remember Lot’s wife.” She looked back.

  4. “Beware of Dogs” sends a shiver up my spine and I think of danger and attacks. Sara’s word ‘malignant’ caught my attention. Looking at this definition from Dictionary Online makes me think I better run from this person, not ‘run with it’ or them.
    “1. disposed to cause harm, suffering, or distress deliberately; feeling or showing ill will or hatred.
    2. very dangerous or harmful in influence or effect.
    3. Pathology .
    a. tending to produce death, as bubonic plague.
    b. (of a tumor) characterized by uncontrolled growth; cancerous, invasive, or metastatic.”

  5. Debi’s notes on malignant which is one of the def. on dogs from Barnes’ notes…is scary and a word too often heard today with cancer. It spreads and it kills many times even with the best of medical care. Yet, Paul warns the church to beware of these people in your company. We might refer to them as toxic people. They pretend to be a part of the healthy whole. May even look healthy for a season. Then the eyes of God reveal their heart to be read by all. If the God of truth is not your Father than the God of lies is your father. Then the malignant definition Debi gave takes control.

    Have we got the understanding right? If so, we must need to set our thoughts and understanding on BEWARE! If we follow Paul’s course of action of beware what should we do to move forward as a whole, healthy and integrated body of Christ with Jesus Christ as the Head?

  6. “If we follow Paul’s course of action of beware what should we do to move forward as a whole, healthy and integrated body of Christ with Jesus Christ as the Head?” Sara, I’m wondering if the footnotes for verse 13, in Philippians 2 might help with answering?? Read with me: “What do we do when we don’t feel like obeying? God has not left us alone in our struggles to do his will. He wants to come alongside us and be within us to help. God gives us the desire and the power to do what pleases him. The secret to a changed life is to submit to God’s control and let him work. Next time ask God to help you desire to do his will. To be like Christ, we must train ourselves to think like Christ. To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Word (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service. Often it is in doing God’s will that we gain the desire to do it (see 4: 8,9). Do what he wants and trust him to change your desires.”
    Now read with me the footnotes for verses 12-14 in chapter 3 of Philippians. “Paul said that his goal was to know Christ, to be like Christ, and to be all Christ had in mind for him. This goal took all of Paul’s energies. This is a helpful example for us. We should not let anything take our eyes off our goal, knowing Christ. With the single-mindedness of an athlete in training, we must lay aside everything harmful and forsake anything that may distract us from being effective Christians. What is holding you back? Paul had reason to forget the past, he had held the coats of those who had stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts :57, 58, Paul is called Saul here). We have all done things for which we are ashamed, and we live in the tension of what we have been and what we want to be. Because our hope is in Christ, however, we can let go of past guilt and look forward to what God will help us become. Don’t dwell on your past. Instead, grow in the knowledge of God by concentrating on your relationship with him now. Realize that you are forgiven, and then move on to a life of faith and obedience. Look forward to a fuller and more meaningful life because of your hope in Christ.”

  7. Needles one of the things your footnotes said was that “To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Word (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service.”
    A couple of thoughts come to me. First, faithful Christians must be in our sphere of influence, not the type of person that Sara’s comment said to BEWARE OF. And sacrificial service to me implies service from someone who is not ‘snarling and dissatisfied’ as defined by Sara’s commentary.
    So if we surround ourselves and our interactions with these type of persons how can we move forward and be more like Christ?

  8. Love, love, love, Bible Studies with you girls. Keeps my mind a hopping and my brain just a bobbing. Love it!

    Needles notes, “To be like Christ, we must train ourselves to think like Christ.“ And, Debi ask, …how can we move forward when we surround ourselves with the dogs? I think if we get our “…feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” Ephesians 6 NIV Good shoes for walking and get on the exercise path mentioned herein of this verse of Proverbs:

    But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Proverbs 4:18, ESV)

    I think the light will shine so bright as we exercise the whole being: “by taking with us the shield of faith, with which we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Eph 6

    Just walk, work and go and they go!

  9. On an interesting note, my Bible notes say on Phil 3 , “our progress is changeable (in contrast to our relationship) because it depends on our daily walk—AT TIMES, IN LIFE, WE MATURE MORE THAN AT OTHER TIMES. But we are growing toward perfection…if we PRESS ON. These good deeds DO NOT PERFECT US, rather as God instructs us we do good deeds for Him.”
    In the Body of Christ a person who has fallen ill hopefully will not be then regarded as “toxic” because they cannot fulfill all their role and giftings in the Body, as before. This time seems to be that time as indicated in the above quote….at times we mature more than at other times. But the desire to press on, move forward is still there, as in my case, I still want to do whatever I can do to contribute to the Kingdom, even if I am handicapped for a season. We must not throw out the baby with the bath water. My good deeds may vary for a time while I am recuperating but if God inspires me to them then I am contributing to the best of my ability and obeying Him. This helps to move forward for the Body and for the individual member, in this case myself.
    So i have to look beyond this hindrance, once it is overcome, and move on with the Body of Christ back in normal capacity.

  10. Isaiah says, “Do not consider the former things nor consider the things of old. Behold I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth.” You are to walk in the newness, which means you must let go of past negatives–ideas, people, and feelings. Setting boundaries, moving on from toxic relationships, deciding to change, and releasing old patterns and bad habits while learning new and constructive ones requires courage, work, and commitment.
    ___Beliefnet
    It seems the Lord is speaking to His church everywhere anyone will listen to Him. I want to listen to Him and not be left behind in the “old” as it says in Isaiah. Once the “diversion” is put aside I want to “run with it”. It’s up to me, however. It is a choice.

  11. MG, not sure how you think toxic and illness equate. Toxic is more of an attitude that does not promote corporation and participation in the body of Christ. Illness is a condition that hopefully we can rise above and still participate in the vision.

  12. Good ! I am glad you do not feel that way. Yes, I feel that illness, no matter what it is, in the person who is committed to the work of the Kingdom, can be just a minor set back or a way of taking time thru the recovery period to look at what the vision and shorter term goals are, again and to re-evaluate oneself and how he/she can contribute to the good of the whole no matter the condition.
    There may have to be be new ways of doing things or contributing after a recovery. There may not be a full recovery and so that has to be studied and
    determined.
    To move ahead , like Paul and Isaiah write, despite the hindrances….despite the impediments or impairment…is what I desire for Jesus’ church.

  13. “To change our desires to be more like Christ’s, we need the power of the indwelling Spirit (1:19), the influence of faithful Christians, obedience to God’s Words (not just exposure to it), and sacrificial service.”

    Debi, you touched on the influence of faithful Christians, and sacrificial service. Will you elaborate on the power of the indwelling Spirit, and the obedience to God’s Word? Also, I keep looking at that word…”sacrificial” service…hum.

  14. Paul uses the metaphor of a drink offering (poured out) to describe his sacrificial service on behalf of Christ (Jacksonville Bible Church). Robert Gromacki writes, “Theory must be put into practice and ideas must be dressed in flesh. Learners want to be shown as well as to be told.”

    And then when we have seen then we as learners must practice it until we are in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Practicing service becomes a real joy.

    I believe that only by the Spirit of the God can we work out our salvation…that is of good deeds and service to our fellow Christians without resentment or complaint. It has to be worked out in the flesh but by the Spirit.
    And HUMILITY plays an important part. If we would but humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God to obey and do service that He inspires…to keep on keeping on and doing and giving…then we will experience that joy that Paul had as a humble bond-slave and servant to the Living God.

  15. “If we would but humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God to obey and do service that He inspires…” MG, is this the “obedience to God’s Word”, part?

  16. Oh, Needles. It’s true! God is dealing with me about “obedience” to His Word, and the consequences thereof, of not heeding the Word. It becomes quite dreadful when we do not HUMBLE ourselves before the mighty hand of God….. i.e. present ourselves humbly to obey HIM.
    Andrew Murray writes that “Humility is the right attitude before God and allows Him as God to do all.” It’s like, ‘not MG’s will, my stubborn, willful prideful desires, but His Will as I apply it from the Scriptures.
    God will deal with us about disobedience. I am going thru the paces at this time and I am searching and looking to see where I have not followed the Word of God, because God is dealing with me.
    Sara, in her book, DESIGNS OF ONE’ S HEART” writes, “Are we obedient? We can judge ourselves by speaking what we see in that ‘pool of reflection’.
    In other words, what kind of person are you? What is your true character? What is the reflection in the pool saying to you? ”
    Again, Murray says, all suffering and unhappiness is the result of pride.” And pride is the opposite of humility. I am beginning to see that humility and obedience go together. I have a lot more to do about this…LOTS!
    By the grace and MERCY of God, only, can I proceed on the road to deliverance and healing.

  17. I read this morning….(Psalm 138:6) “Though the Lord is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.” God’s Word also says, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (can’t locate that scripture, right now).
    MG, am I understanding that one of the bottom lines here, (?may be?)…..”we have something to do”. “God will never leave us nor forsake us”, but we do the leaving and the forsaking….maybe by our disobedience, possessing pride, refusing to accept His Holy Spirit, hanging out with the “BEWARE OF” people, etc.

    I want to embrace these “power words” that Paul and Joel have left us with…and “run with it”. Sure hope I am learning what God has to teach me, and will put this into practice.

  18. Yes, Needles, you are right. We sure do have something to do. I remember Sister Grandma told me one time that she had heard a preacher say or she read somewhere a quote that I had not heard. “If God seems far away, who moved?” So He won’t leave us or forsake us but, lordy, we have got to do our part and stay connected to the VINE at all times.
    And You are doing a good job of delving into these Scriptures and the treasures hidden within. James 4:8 is the Scripture that says, “draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. OOPS…”Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.(4:10) There it is ! HUMILITY.

  19. Thanks for the location of the scripture verse, MG. Wow! Didn’t realize it happened to be, right with HUMILITY. God is so AWESOME!

  20. Needles one thought that comes to mind on “the power of the indwelling Spirit, and the obedience to God’s Word?” is why would the Holy Spirit bother to indwell and flex His muscles in anyone who wasn’t planning on being obedient to Him? I sure wouldn’t want to stay in someone’s house who planned on abusing me.

  21. Also Needles, with regard to ‘sacrificial service”…one definition of sacrifice is : “To sell or give away at a loss.” Don’t you think that sounds like there is really nothing in it for ‘me’? In fact sacrificial service will probably cost me more than I bargained for. I believe when we read further in Phillipians 3 that we see Paul’s math equation for knowing Christ ended with a minus sign. “But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ..” (vs 7-8)

  22. “Sacrificial service…” When I read Matthew 26:36-46…I am reminded that too many of us in the church might just remain asleep and not praying and not watching. We go about our daily lives just so awfully busy. This scripture also reminds me that the disciples just did not want Jesus around. Do we really want Him around today?

    How do we have or do sacrificial service without the sacrificial Lamb in our service? Thomas Payne, one of our founding fathers said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Our Lord, said, Rise up, get up….I don’t think it works being a ‘do nothing’ in God’s Kingdom. Does it?

  23. I am not really sure what the illness and toxic is totally about here. Someway I missed the connection from Debi to MG. Nevertheless, I have been using the word retool for quite awhile now. Dictionary gives: retool |rēˈtoōl|
    verb [ trans. ]
    equip (a factory) with new or adapted tools.
    • adapt or alter (someone or something) to make them more useful or suitable : he likes to retool the old stories to make them relevant for today’s kids.
    • [ intrans. ] adapt or prepare oneself for something : perhaps one can even retool for the afterlife.

    I think retool appropriate for all situations when one needs to change. I like the definition of retool for the afterlife. Sometimes we need to retool for illness, retirement homes, jobs, church, etc. And, I love the one to retool old stories to make them relevant to today’s kids.

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