The One Thing I Can Do

What are you doing with your life these days?

Where do you spend most of your time?

Some of us are so entrenched in the past that we are paralyzed in the present! We seem unable to even imagine a future.

Paul the apostle knew of this challenge in life. As he sat in prison, he wrote about it in a letter to people he loved very much who were also suffering. Listen to his words to the church at Philippi —

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14

In the course of a lifetime, a person can experience many things that can be considered loss — loss of a career, loss of a home, loss of income, loss of a loved one. Most of us have experienced at least one or more of these painful times in life. And we know what it is to walk the journey of a difficult trial where our spirit is crushed and our heart is broken.

Paul certainly had time in prison to think about his own life. Since he surrendered to Christ, he had endured great suffering. And yet, he wrote, “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 and be found in Him … that I may know Him …” (Philippians 3:7-10).

I remember the day I said goodbye to a home that I loved. The Lord brought to my mind the truth that when I go to heaven I will not take that home with me. He reminded me that He was preparing a place for me — an eternal home that was so much better. Since I would be leaving that earthly home someday, then find strength in the Lord to say goodbye to it now. Surrender and let it go and press on with the Lord to take the next steps in my journey with Him.

God reminded me of that surrender just this week. I hadn’t thought about it for some time. And yet, for several years after that surrender, I mourned that loss. The Lord has enabled me, with time, to move on in my journey with Him.

Over a year ago, my earthly father went home to be with the Lord. I miss him so much. And for a time, I could hardly go on because I was so brokenhearted. A month after he stepped into heaven, I spoke to a large group of women on the subject of revival. And the Lord gave me strength to get up on that platform and preach from His Word. He reminded me again of the goal and the importance of pressing on, following Him, living in His power, and running the race set before us until we are face to face with Him.

There is always one thing I can do.

I can press on toward the goal!

God has a plan, though I may not know or understand His ways (Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 55:8-9). God is working out His plan, though I may not see how He is doing it all (Romans 8:28).

So there is one thing I can do — press on toward the goal.

We have a call from Christ Himself to know Him and make Him known.

No matter where you are right now, turn your thoughts from the past, and think of Jesus — simply Jesus. Fix your eyes on Him. Pour out your heart to Him. Lay out every dream and desire before Him. Lean in and listen to all He has to say to you in His Word. Turn to the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and read His words. Hear Him speaking them to you. You will begin to hear His tender voice when He says, “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). And His firm exhortation will linger long in your heart as He urges you, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5).

Kenneth Wuest in his Word Studies helps us to understand this idea of pressing on —

Paul uses an illustration here of a Greek runner completely forgetting his opponents whom he is leading in the race. Just as a runner’s speed is slackened should he think of those behind him, and the thud, thud of their pounding feet, so the Christian’s onward progress is hindered should he dwell on the past full of failures and sins, full of heartaches and discouragements, full of disappointments and thwarted hopes and plans…The words “reaching forth” are from another Greek athletic term which describes the runner whose “eye outstrips and draws onward the hand, and the hand the foot.” The word means “to stretch forth after.” “Press” is literally “pursue.” “Mark” refers to a target for shooting, here a moral and spiritual target. “Toward” is from the preposition meaning “down,” and has the idea of “bearing down upon” in the direction of the goal. The mark is Christlikeness. What a goal for a Christian!
Kenneth Wuest in Word Studies from the Greek New Testament

Paul’s words to the Philippian church help us understand the importance of being singleminded, even in difficult times. There is always one thing we can do. Press on toward the goal. One step at a time. Lay your past in His able, caring arms and trust Him in it all. Then, draw near to your Lord and spend time alone with Him. He will help you take the next step. It may seem like even a small step right now. But He knows the way. Just follow Him. He is faithful. And never forget — He loves you. He wants you with Him always and forever.

So press on, dear friend. “Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called you heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

♥ Blessings and Grace to You!

Catherine

myPhotoWalk Technical

  • Title: The One Thing I Can Do
  •   Request This Image > SmugMug Image Request
  • Description: A beautiful day out on the shores of Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA.
  • Creator: Catherine Martin
  • Date Created: 05/11/14
  • Camera: Nikon D800E, 24-120.0 mm, Focal Length 34.0 mm, f/18.0, 1/80, ISO 100.
  • Photoshoot: myPhotoWalk Photoshoot in Maui, Hawaii, USA.
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  • Copyright ©2017 Catherine Martin — myPhotoWalk™ — Quiet Time Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
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