FUEL FOR CHRIST-FOLLOWING

In the movie City Slickers, Curly (Jack Palance) tells Mitch (Billy Crystal) that the secret of happiness is found in one thing. Mitch asks, "What's the one thing?" Curly says, "You have to find that out for yourself."   

Paul defined the one thing for himself: "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14) 

His "one thing" was winning the prize — the prize of knowing and being known by Jesus. This goal was the driving force behind all that he did.  

A subtle, but crucial, distinction is this. Paul wasn't driven by the idea of success in ministry, of building growing congregations, of reaching unchurched people with the gospel. He did these things — and he did them well — but he was driven first by the desire to know Jesus. His devotional life, not his ambition, fueled his ministry.   

Here's how this plays out in my life. When I'm driven by the desire to see results, I'm frustrated most of the time. Nothing, not even success, is quite good enough. When I'm driven by the desire to know Jesus— as I always should be — two things happen. One, I tend to work harder. Two, I have peace in the process. 
  
Actually, everyone is already driven by one thing. Some can define it, some can't. When your one thing is the goal of gaining Christ, as Paul says in Philippians 3:8, and knowing Christ and becoming like him, as he says in 3:10...when your work is fueled by your devotional life and not your ambition, Christ-following becomes less of an exercise in frustration, and more of the adventure God intends for our lives to be.

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