Focused Wanting

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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. Phil. 3:13-14

Gracious Jesus, it’s good to be free from the “paralysis of analysis”—an unhealthy, navel-gazing preoccupation with ourselves. But it’s equally good to be free to examine our lives through the lens of the gospel.

With an increase in age, Paul grew in gospel-astonishment. May the same be true of us, Lord. He never got bored exploring the unsearchable riches of your grace. Grant us knee-buckling worship, as we ponder every good thing you have given us in the Gospel. Thank you for giving us a prize to win, not a wage to earn. We could never earn our way into relationship with you or heaven.

We own our weakness, Jesus. Sometimes we lift our hands in awe and gratitude before you. Other times we shake our fists at heaven like pouting children, or we wring our hands in anxious unbelief; but you never stop loving us. Thank you! We live, and we will die, secure in your palms, written upon your heart. Hallelujah!

So what do we want for the rest of our days? We can’t say it any better than Paul. We want to know you, Jesus, more intimately than ever (Phil. 3:10-11). This is the one thing we want more than anything else. And we want to experience more of the power of your resurrection; for we need the power of the Spirit to love others as you love us.

And, like Paul, we want to enter more fully into the “fellowship of your sufferings”—living lives of service, missional engagement, and great hope (Rom. 8:18–25). Our labors in you will never be in vain, Jesus (1 Cor. 15:58).

Jesus, free us to be done with lesser things, and be way more taken up with the things which matter most to your heart. So very Amen we pray, in your merciful and mighty name.

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