Philippians 3:12-15 – “Not that I have already become perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which I was taken hold of by Christ…13 one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…15 all who are mature, lets have this attitude…”
Early in my walk with God, I remember being very discouraged in my struggle with sin. The Holy Spirit ministered to my heart and mind, with three freeing truths along the way, that helped me become consistent in victory. The first truth was in my spirit and mind after a failure: ‘Ben, you lost the battle, but you know who wins the war and you can’t give up.’ The second truth was from a sermon given by Tony Evans on Jesus’ words from the cross, ‘it is finished.’ Evans explained the word Jesus used was tetelestai, also meaning ‘paid in full,’ sometimes found on first century receipts. The Lord used that message to reveal to me afresh that the debt I owed for my failures was paid in full by Jesus. The third truth was in my reading of 1 Corinthians 10:13 where we are told, ‘no temptation has seized you (because)…God is faithful, he will always provide a way out.’
When we heap up condemnation on ourselves after falling short of God’s standards, it leads to a greater downward spiral of failure. When we learn how to transition our mindset to living easier with the victory being Jesus’ victory, we become more consistently victorious. When we remember that Jesus is faithful to provide a way for victory, it takes away our excuses, and it helps our confidence in Jesus to provide that victory.
Do you find you’re constantly beating yourself up internally for the ways you fall short? That is the accuser of Christians, aka satan. Each day Jesus wants to set you free to forget what lies behind, and to reach forward into more of what He is leading you to be. This doesn’t lead to justified sin, it leads to less sin.
Are you living in Jesus’ victory? I can testify with Paul, it’s not that I have already become perfect, or that I no longer struggle with temptations and failures. Instead, I am very consistently free from that which used to torment me because I learned, by God’s grace, how to adopt the right attitudes.