Look Out, Press On, Hold True

from Lynda Lindsey

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh—-Philippians 3:2-3

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. 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. Philippians 3:12-14

Only let us hold true to what we have attained. Philippians 3:16

Paul urgently exhorts believers to look out for false teaching and to press on and hold to a true, steady course in Christ. Paul’s concern was the erroneous teaching that Gentiles had to be circumcised before becoming Christians; Paul insists that true circumcision has nothing to do with the physical body but is rather a spiritual matter of the heart. Like watch-standers in the military looking for dangerous enemy activity, Paul warns us to be watchful and alert to deception. How well we know Scripture insures how alert we will be to deviations from God’s truth. 

Militarily, to press an attack is to soldier on in a forceful and determined forward push. While it’s true that military strategists analyze the past to be more effective in future engagements, military campaigns are forward focused. Troops must take the next hill, the next city. Just as soldiers don’t march backwards into victory, neither do we spiritually. It’s vital we press on, not giving way to untruths, discouragement or fear.  How well we press on in spiritual growth, forgetting the past and straining forward to what lies ahead, enables us to reach the finish line and receive the victor’s crown. 

Holding a true, steady course ensures not getting lost or blown off target. Pilots flying at night or in dense fog can easily get disoriented; sky and sea, up and down, all look and feel the same. If the pilot panics and abandons following his navigational systems, he can crash and perish. How to hold true in spiritual matters? Hold  firmly, confidently to Jesus; He is the way, the life, and the truth. Pursue Jesus. Grow in faith. Look out for untruths. Press on. Don’t get disorientated in foggy circumstances. Hold true to a steady course; like Paul, press on in Christ, for Christ has made us His own!