Satisfied Among the Ranks

Philippians 3:12-15 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded:”

Satisfied among the ranks; while it may be the mentality of the masses, it certainly was not the attitude of the Apostle Paul! Writing to a young comrade in the faith; Paul said, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier” (II Timothy 2:3-4). Paul’s objective was to manifest his love for the Lord Jesus Christ by excelling in being the best! The objective was not to “get by”, but “rise above.” Paul’s quest to be the best was marked by a declaration, “not . . . apprehended.” The word “apprehended” means to seize or take possession of something. Paul knew that he was not the mature Christian that he could be and there was more of God’s will to accomplish. Many become stagnate in their Christian life having come to the false assumption that they have arrived. The motivating force behind spiritual success is the dissatisfaction with your present spiritual state! While we may have become all that man expects; have we become all that God expects us to be? Paul continued with determination, “reaching forth.” “Reaching forth” is the picture of a runner that stretches forward to be the first to cross the finish line. Paul, being dissatisfied with where he was, determined not to be distracted by what he had done; moved forward with God! Paul would break through the ranks of normality; reaching forth to obtain more for the glory of God! Nearing the end of his earthly journey we are met with Paul’s delight; Paul could say, “For I am now ready . . .  I have finished my course” (II Timothy 4:6-7). Paul’s satisfaction was linked to God’s satisfaction. Passion had driven Paul to pursue the best; causing him to not only finish well, but to finish in God’s will! Have you become complacent and satisfied among the ranks?