The Apostle Paul, who started, loved, and cared for the church at Philippi shared some desires of his heart in the book of Philippians. He wanted more than anything to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10). Paul was thought of very highly by the Philippians, but he wanted to let them know that he didn’t think a lot of himself and that he wanted to accomplish God’s will for his life (Philippians 3:12).
He made it clear that he was going on with his life and putting the past behind him: “...forgetting those things which are behind...” (Philippians 3:13). You may have a past that continues to bother you to this day: put it behind you! Be guilty no more! Forget the past and build a future that will count!
So he says he is pressing on! The idea of this word press in verse 14 is to “follow after, to pursue.” Christlikeness was Paul’s goal and should be ours. Paul pursued Christlikeness with the enthusiasm and persistence of a runner in the Greek games.
Press on in Our Passion
To be a good runner or athlete of any kind, it takes consistent dedication to the goal and commitment to the task. To be a good student, it takes a thirst for truth and a willingness to forgo sleep! To be a good Christian it takes death to self and a commitment to Christ and His goal of world evangelization.
We must have the determination not to give up while seeking to do our part. We must be passionate about missions. We must be passionate about Christlikeness. We must be passionate about soulwinning. We must be passionate about giving.
I am sure we all remember hearing about Thomas Edison as he responded to a reporter who asked how it felt to fail 2,000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb. He said, “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2,000 step process!”
Passionate people and churches never give up. Calvin Coolidge, our 30th president said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.... The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
We know that the only hope for this world is Jesus Christ. But the point is, the Lord wants to use you and me for His glory, and His program is to use human beings like each of us. We must press on and avail ourselves for His use.
Press on in Our Philosophy
Let’s never forget what we are doing. We are seeking and striving to start new churches all over this planet. We need to keep this the central heartbeat of our churches, just as it is for our Lord.
If the philosophy is not right, the church will not be right. We need to keep a global vision for starting new churches (multiplication), not just individuals (addition). Don’t get me wrong, I am not downplaying one single soul getting saved. I am just saying that we can get a whole lot more souls saved if we send out men to start more soul saving stations: churches!
It is the church that God gave the promise to that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Church planting is going forward: let’s press on!
Press on in Our Pesos
You can see here that I am straining a little with my alliterations! We must realize that we haven’t arrived in all that we could give financially to our Lord. Let us press on to do our best in giving. I am convinced with all that God has blessed our churches with, millions more of God’s resources could be given if we had His heart for the lost.
Pastors and missionary-evangelists, if you make global evangelization through church planting your passion, I am confident that you will then experience the great fulfillment that comes with serving the Lord, regardless of the size of your congregation. When the Lord sees that you are prioritizing His agenda above your own, He will meet all your church’s needs.
Press on in Our Partnership
God is still looking for more laborers to go into the harvest field. Let us press on and pray for more laborers as our Lord has directed.
Does God want you to partner with Him in starting a church? Are there men in the church you pastor that God wants to call to be a church planter somewhere?
God calls men and boys into the office of the pastor or missionary/evangelist, and equips them appropriately. May God continue to use our churches as a hotbed, if you would, for men going into the ministry. Let us not “grow weary in well doing.” Let us press on in our passion, philosophy, pesos, and partnership with God.