A Lifelong Passion

“That I may become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him.” Philippians 3:10 Amplified

“A goal not worthy of a lifetime is not deserving of the prime years of your life.”

My thoughts today are about “a lifelong passion.”

Saul of Tarsus, devout in his Jewish faith, was preoccupied with things that seemed important at the time, until he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. See Acts 9:1-22 NKJV. In that moment, his life became a lifelong passion to know God. Nothing else was ever again allowed to be as important as that one superceding goal.

Imprisoned in Rome, nearing the end of his life, Paul wrote, “I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us up to Heaven. I hope all of you who are mature Christians will agree on these things.” Philippians 3:13-15 NLT. A goal that is not worthy of a lifetime is not deserving of the prime years of your life.

Life cannot be successful or truly satisfying if you allow yourself to be carried in the direction of every wind of shifting circumstance or mood, good, bad, or indifferent. It is not the direction from which the wind blows – circumstances, expediency, impulses, popular opinion, self interest – that can be allowed to determine your destination; it must be the “set of your sails” to embrace every wind and use that experience or circumstance to take you where your destiny in Christ calls you to go.

“One ship drives east and another drives west, with the selfsame winds that blow. ‘Tis the set of the sails and not the gales that decides the way to go. Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate, as we voyage along through life. ‘Tis the set of the soul that decides its goal, and not the calm or the strife.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

In my Junior year of college, I chose today’s verse (Philippians 3:10) as my “life verse,” a God-sized goal for the spiritual direction of my life. I do not claim to have perfectly achieved that goal, but my longing for that to be true is no less so today. My life has taken many paths, my years filled with varying circumstances, some delightful and others difficult.  But yet today, I still want to truly know God with a deepening intimacy of real life experience with Jesus.

There are many decisions you must make in life, some more important, some less. Most are just about matters of the moment, but some will matter for a lifetime, and a few for eternity. Life is at its best when you make every decision – big or small – in light of a clear goal that you have set for the direction of your spiritual life and relationship with God. Then, whether in “calm or strife,” your goal remains clear and your life on course.

Do not allow the immediacy of everyday life to distract you, even briefly, from the big story that God is telling through you. Life is bigger than everyday. Right now sometimes demands a preeminence and importance that it does not deserve, and eternity can seem distant and secondary, if you are not careful. Do not be deceived; nothing, absolutely nothing, is more consequential than all that is eternal! “I eagerly expect and hope that in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted . .” Philippians 1:20-21 NIV.

My prayer for you today is to know where you are going and the One who leads you.