“Our Reach Must Exceed Our Grasp”
Philippians 3:7-14
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.

The time of this writing By the Apostle Paul was approximately 30 years after his tremendous conversion to Christ.
In those 30 years he became a chief apostle for Jesus Christ, a spiritual giant, and legend in his own time… doing much great work in the evangelism of the world.

Even though he already knew Christ, had received revelation from God, was an apostle, evangelist, missionary, pastor, teacher and prophet; he confesses ….. there is more for me to receive. Though I have gained much …. there is more to gain.

Paul had experienced much in his years of discipleship and ministry; he had been through some stuff.
He had gained many spiritual victories and accomplished much in advancing the gospel.

Paul had endured through some stuff.
He had prayed his way through some bad circumstances.
He had engaged in much spiritual warfare.
Paul had walked through the fire and was preserved by the goodness of God.
He had seen the miraculous/supernatural work of God

But even after all of that …. Paul says to all believers …. it’s not quitting time yet!
I cannot, I will not rest on all of the past accomplishments.
I must not, I refuse to believe that I have experienced all that God has designed for me.

Paul says…. This is what I’m going to do …. forget those things which are behind… I’m going to keep on reaching for those things which before me. I’m going to press on … press toward the goal.

Paul had an inspiration, a vision; that compelled him to go on, press on, move on. Our reach much exceed our grasp ….. with the same concept. Paul explained spiritual advancement ….. one has to let go of something that they’ve had and reach for something we desire to have.

I believe, in the Lord’s church, there are those who really do desire spiritual advancement.
I also believe, in the Lord’s church, that there are those who have drifted into some kind of spiritual complacency, contentment, and satisfaction that is actually not where the Lord wants them to remain.

News flash: the leading cause of spiritual defeat is not due to the efforts of the enemy of man’s soul … Satan.
The leading cause of spiritual defeat is not some principality, power, or rulers of darkness, or some spiritual wickedness that has overcome the believer.

The leading cause of spiritual defeat, backsliding, returning to a life of unbelief, is simply this: a failure to press on,
a failure to make continual forward progress, a failure to discover what God has for us next.

I just want to encourage somebody ….. The Spirit of the Lord and the Word of God is calling us to movement and advancement.
God’s Spirit and Word is saying to us:

It’s time to go forward …….it’s time for another step of faith

“                                   “ move forward into the next encounter

“                                   “ advance to the next opportunity

“                                   “ to expand                   

“                                   “ increase

“                                   “ move from the old to the new

“                                   “ move from the negative to the positive

“                                   “ move from fear to faith

“                                   “ move from doubt to dominion

“                                   “ move from average to abundance

“                                   “ move from spiritual poverty to spiritual prosperity

“                                   “ move from spiritual weakness to spiritual power

It’s time for progress … it’s time for renewal

“                                 “productivity

“                                 “ growth

“                                 “ it’s time to possess the promises given

“                                 “ improvement

“                                 “ expansion, advancement, victory

“                                 “ enjoy all of His blessings and promises as His dear children
                                     (because it is His good pleasure to give us the kingdom)

It’s time to move on to victories, blessings, gifts, miracles, harvest, conquest.

It’s time to move on…. you and I are on assignment and purpose from God!

It’s not time to: halt, delay, hesitate or stop.
It’s not time to: regress, retreat, return, or turn back.

It’s not time to be paralyzed by problems, tripped up by troubles, or defeated by demons.

It’s not time to be postponed by people, detoured by the world, or deceived by the devil.

It’s not time to become slaves to our own religious pride that actually stymies and stops our further spiritual development, advancement, and revelation.

It’s time to move forward ….

Our reach must exceed our grasp …….
Paul said …. I’m letting go of things behind.

For our spiritual success we need a made up mind that says nothing in my past is going to keep me there.
The circumstances of my past and/or present will not define my future.
We must not allow the “bad” or “good” of our past to cause us to be “stuck” when God wants us to advance into His designed destiny for each of us.

Here’s the message ….. as we desire this advancement and spiritual growth: we will have to let go of somethings before we can go forward. Think about it …. What is it that I need to release? And what is it that I need to reach for?
Anybody want to advance? …….

Anybody want to go to what the Lord has prepared for you?

Heard somebody say it like this, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psalm 61:2)

“Oh Lord lead me in Your truth, and teach me: for You are the God of my salvation” (Psalm 25:5)

Anybody ready to advance? Our reach must exceed our grasp ….

D L Rogers