In Philippians 3:14 Paul declared, “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
The upward call of God. God’s been calling out to me all of my life. It started when I went to a little Vacation Bible School in my farm community when I was 4 years old. Two ladies came from a distance away to tell anyone who would listen about Jesus. It was music to my ears as I went back each summer for a week to hear more and more about Jesus.
As I headed off to college, wrestling with God’s demands for my life and fighting it some, He kept wooing and calling me back to His heart. God surrounded me with great mentors and teachers to show me how to live out this upward call in my adult life. Maybe it was easier in college and in my twenties to live out a more undistracted focus on Jesus.
But the older I get, it seems harder. My job sucks out most of my energy, especially people energy. At the end of the day I want to run from people, not go out and minister to them with my “free time.” I want to crash and get ready for the next day and the next week. I don’t want to waste my life and my time, but how do I make all of that happen?
This upward call keeps shouting, crying out, and at times whispering. How to make much of Jesus as my treasure? How to make the most of the people time I have around those who don’t know Jesus to get to those who want to know Him? And how to have time to cultivate good relationships to encourage, spur on and run together with?
What I do know:
- I need to spend time connecting with God in His Bible and in prayer each day to be connected to Him. I must be led by the Holy Spirit and walk in the Spirit to live out the life of Jesus in me.
- I can rest in the work God has done and is doing in me so He does what it is He wants in my job, my marriage and through our lives then to others. He does the work, gives me the strength, the desire and the power to do what it is He wants me to do.
- Jesus is my treasure and I want to press on to pursue the upward call whatever it looks like at all different decades of my life.