Adveniat Regnum = Hold True (Don’t Go Back)
Adveniat Regnum = Kingdom Come in Latin
PART THREE OF SIX
“Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained” (Philippians 3:15-16).
In verse 15, Paul is saying, paraphrased, “Real spiritual maturity is realizing you are not yet perfect or mature.” Mature believers will know this and have an attribute of pursuing Christlikeness.
However, those who think otherwise will make no progress towards the goal. And it will be revealed eventually. But the fact of the matter is many of us will learn in the same manner as Clarence did. Remember him? (https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/cotidie.blog/576). We will come to the end of our life and feel regret for the way we have lived our lives. We will meet the Lord empty-handed.
Verse 16 leads us to the second main point this week, hold true, keep what you have and don’t go backwards. In other words, we must stay in line spiritually and continue to pursue Christlikeness. How is this done? Only through surrender. We must surrender today, and tomorrow, and the next day.
Have you ever looked at a stock market chart in the newspaper or on the internet? What does it look like? It is normally very volatile, with many ups and downs, much going forward then going backwards, over and over. Two steps forward, one step back. One step forward, two steps back.
Sadly, I think that is what most of our walks with Christ look like. It does not have to be this way though! Paul is telling us to hold true; keep what you have and do not go backwards.
In our ministry at Under Over Fellowship, we try to help many that have had rough lives or find themselves at rock bottom; frequently including homelessness. Their previous lives often include drug and alcohol abuse, bad relationships, and general living for self. I had a young man that I mentored for around 6 months while he was in the residential program at our church. He was doing wonderful; going to welding school, growing in his faith, and serving the Lord daily. We spent much time together. One of my daughters is a high school athletic trainer. This young man was my companion for much of the last football season; we went to nearly all the games together. The away games were the best. We would find a good spot to eat out of town, and had a great time. He genuinely became one of my best friends and like a little brother during this process. One night at church he was not himself. After much prodding by me to find out what was the matter, he finally shared with me that he had started using drugs again. I counseled with him for a long time and begged him, “Don’t go back!” He was at a crossroads that night and had a decision before him; to hold true to the spiritual progress he made or to go backwards. Unfortunately, he chose to leave the program and go back to his old lifestyle. About a month later, I got word that my friend died, most likely of a drug overdose. I think I cried for three days.
This is a heartbreaking story to tell, to say the least. My family and our church family had so much love for this young man, and would have done anything for him. But God gives us freewill to choose to follow him or not. He does not force this on us. Once we make the decision to become a follower of Christ, we cannot go back. We mustn’t. I do not have a chance to plead with my friend one last time, but I can tell you; if you are struggling with your faith, keep what you have, do not go backwards. Keep moving forward in a pursuit of Christ.
Just for today, hold true in your faith. Do not go backwards.
Tune in tomorrow for Part Four….