Pressing Towards the Mark
| Bro Gaius Egwu (Ohafia, Nigeria)
rogress is a popular goal in the world today.
People are hungry for technological
progress, social progress, economic progress,
educational progress and on and on. I recently
read this statement in an article about digital
storage, “No one knows for sure what will be,
but with certainty I can say the best is yet to
As Christians we also are interested in
progress, but the progress which interests us
is quite different from that of the world. Paul
spoke of pressing towards the mark. But what
mark? Did he have a goal of making a certain
number of tents per year? Or was he working
on a new and improved design? No, that was
not his point at all. The mark he was pressing
for was a spiritual mark:
“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, I press toward the mark
for the prize of the high calling of
God in Christ Jesus.”
Why did Paul need to keep pressing toward the
mark? He was a great pillar in the early
church. Through his efforts the kingdom of
God experienced great progress. Surely he was
just about as perfect as one can get. But no,
Paul realized that he still had not attained to
perfection. He knew that there was higher
ground to be reached.
The same is true for each of us. If we ever feel
that we have arrived at the point where we no
longer need to press forward, we have come
to a dangerous place indeed! “Wherefore let
him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest
he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12). What are some helps
to avoid shifting into neutral? I am sure I can-
not supply all the answers, but here are some
things that come to my mind.
Develop personal convictions. Do not
consider yourself safe just because
you are not doing anything that your
Ecclesia specifically forbids. Church standards
were never intended to take the place of your
conscience. As soon as church standards be-
come the only guide in your life you have
begun to coast. You need to obey them, of
course, but it should also go deeper than that.
You should also understand the biblical princi-
ples behind them.
Do not expect to coast along on the
older generations’ momentum. They
will pass off the scene before you
know it. Todays’ young people are tomorrows
older generation. Young people need to learn
to be spiritually alert today if they are going
to be safe leaders tomorrow.
Do not be satisfied with generation
gaps. Remember that in only a few
generations, small steps add up to
create big leaps. In only a few generations,
the church could lose what our forefathers
worked so hard for.
Set your personal focus on growth
rather than on maintenance. If Paul
needed to press forward, how much
more do you need it?
And last, but not least, keep God’s
word absolutely central in your life.
Without this all effort will be vain.
And through it all, let us remember why we
are pressing onward. We want to win that
prize that awaits us - eternal life (2 Corinthi-
ans 4:17). Truly, Christians can say, the best is
yet to come or is coming.
he world wants your best
but God wants your all.
Matthew 22:37 KJV
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind.”