Start Running

January 1, 2024

I had the blessing of speaking with a very young yet wise person last night who talked about the difficult events she had experienced in her young life. She mentioned her intention to leave those experiences behind in 2023. That conversation took place almost 24 hours ago, and yet it continues to occupy my thoughts. Today, my social media feeds have been filled with New Year’s resolutions, goals, workouts, new diets, and new planners. Everything seems focused on starting something new in the new year. However, I can’t help but dwell on the things that probably need to stay in 2023.

While I was praying today, the Lord led me to Philippians 3:7 – 14, which reads:

7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 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. 13 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, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

I believe this passage is perfect for self-reflection as we enter the New Year. When I examine what Paul wrote, I see him emphasizing the following:

(7) The things I’ve gained in this world are a loss when compared to Jesus.

(8) All things can be considered a loss, except for the supreme gift of knowing Christ. Paul mentions that he suffered the loss of many things, but he regards those things as insignificant when compared to gaining Christ.

(9) As someone who found himself in Jesus, based on his faith, Christ’s grace, and Christ’s own righteousness,

(10) He knows that he can truly know Him (Jesus), understand the power displayed in His resurrection, and share in the fellowship opened up to us because of Christ’s suffering.

(11) Christ’s suffering is the only way for us to attain our own resurrection in Heaven.

(12) Paul continues by stating that he hasn’t already achieved that resurrection, which would make him perfect (thank God, we will be made whole and perfect again in Heaven!), however, he continues to follow Jesus, striving to attain as much of Jesus as possible, just as Jesus has already obtained him by paying the price for his salvation.

(13) Paul says that he doesn’t consider himself to have obtained it all, but he does one thing: he forgets the things that are behind him and reaches forward to the things that lie ahead.

(14) He presses forward toward the future that Christ has prepared for him – a future specifically chosen for him by God Himself.

So, what does this mean for us?

The things of Jesus are the most important things in this world. Nothing I can gain – be it social status, financial stability, size 6 jeans, or a beautiful home – can compare to the supreme gift of knowing Jesus intimately. I suggest to you that many of these worldly possessions may even hinder my ability to know Jesus well because they distract us from the true goal of knowing Him.

Knowing Jesus and standing up for Him often come at a cost in this life, but those costs are insignificant when compared to knowing Christ. Any cost we may bear pales in comparison to the price Christ paid by leaving Heaven, living among us, and dying on the cross. I can truly KNOW Jesus – deeply know Him – because of the finished work of Christ in my life.

I don’t need to be perfect, and thank God for that because I am not. However, my mission is to continue striving for the perfection that comes through Jesus. That perfection involves a life filled with Jesus, where His perfection is displayed through my imperfect life. God has a plan for each of us – a plan for a Godly life – and a plan for eternity in Heaven. I need to pursue that plan, not the things that this world places in my path, but rather, more of His presence, more of His Word, and more of Him in my life.

That young lady is absolutely correct. There are many things that should remain in 2023. In 2024, we should focus on pursuing Christ – running toward the future He has prepared for us – reaching for the goals He has set for us – and remembering that with each step we take, we are not alone.

I pray that each of you will begin running toward Jesus. I pray that you will experience more of Him in 2024.


© 2023 Woman at the Well Ministries