The Truth You Have Attained
In Philippians chapter 3 Paul begins by talking about the fact that his religious education means nothing and that receiving Christ and all that Christ did for him is everything. In verse 12 he goes on to say this: “Not that I have already reached the goal, or am already fully mature, but I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus. Therefore, all who are mature should think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this to you also. In any case we should live up to whatever truth we have attained.”
I was 19 years old when I first met Jesus, steeped in sin and already worn out by the world. He breathed new life into me, I have literally pursued Him and His truth for over thirty years now. My pursuit was never perfect, there were many ups and downs throughout my life. In my mind's eye I can see it like a graph with all of the peaks and valleys of growth along the way, yet always showing a steady progression. And as I read this scripture, I pause at that last verse that says; "in any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained". See, Paul's not talking about different truths. He's talking about our progress along the way. The Bible is full of the truth of God, the truth of who He is and who we are in Him. Yet we can live our lives without ever really grasping much of it. So at 19, the truth I had attained was that Jesus was my salvation. And at that time in my life, I needed to live up to that truth. Along the way, I attained more and more truth about who God is, about His plan for my life, about who I am in Him. I attained truth about the fact that to live is Christ and to die is gain. And I began to learn that dying to self was actually living in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. Now I simply must live up to that truth that I have attained. I think what Paul was saying here is that it's not that one person is smarter than another, or more spiritual than another, but rather we are all in different places in this faith walk, and it is our responsibility to live up to the truth we have attained at that point in our life. It is also for those around us to cheer us on, to help us attain the next truth from the Word of God so that we can all have the full understanding. I know this to be true because, in the very next chapter, he encourages the body of Christ to help two women who lead a church put to rest a disagreement they have. Our faith is our own, but it is also for the benefit of those around us. As we grow in faith, as we attain new truth, it is for us to reach our hand out and bring along those beside us. So I urge you, my sisters, to live up to the truth you have attained from the Word of God so far, and to lovingly bring your sisters along with you.
Follow our Contributing Writer - Libbie Hall