“Let us live up to what we have already attained.“ (Philippians 3:16)
What I hear in that verse is this: Act on the truth you know.
I may not feel ready to do the next-right-thing that’s in front of me. I may feel as though I lack the knowledge, skills, or sheer courage to put one foot in front of the other. I may not know the fullness of what to do in any given situation. But I typically know enough to start. I can act on the truth I know. I just usually don’t.
It’s easier to wait for God to lay it all out. Because then I can blame my paralysis on Him, instead of myself.
When I feel overwhelmed by a situation or an aspect of myself I need to work on, the enormity of it all makes me shrug. “I just don’t know where to start.” Because I don’t know how to do it all, I do nothing.
I call it “waiting on God”.
Meanwhile, He’s waiting on me.
Why should I expect God to show me the whole plan when I’m not being obedient to the small thing He’s already shown me? Why should I expect Him to keep speaking when I haven’t acted on what He’s already said?
As small and inconsequential as it may be, I need to do the bit I know to do. Take that first step. And trust that His light will shine at the exact moment I need to know what to do next.
Two verses earlier in that Philippians passage is the more familiar encouragement and challenge to “press on”: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
But it finally clicked for me that, as I read on, the following verses continue the thought. It’s as though the next part tells me how to press on: By living up to what I’ve already attained.
So the challenge stands for me and you today:
Press on. By acting on the truth you know.