“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”
(Philippians 3:12, emphasis added).
Friend to Friend
Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? A short horizontal bar suspended by ropes or metal straps dangles high above the crowd. The aerialist grabs the trapeze bar, jumps off of a high platform, and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again.
It is during the peak of the third swing where the fun begins for those below. The performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer hanging from his knees who swings toward her. Once she grabs hold, the crowd remembers to breathe. Somersaults, backflips, and triple twists wow the crowd. And each move requires the performer to let go and grab hold—let go of one bar and grab hold of another. Without the faith to do so, the trapeze artist would simply swing back and forth until the pumping momentum gave way to dangling, or she would hang, stuck in-between two platforms, with hands clinging to both bars. Not the greatest show on earth.
Paul wrote to the Philippians, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12, emphasis added). Another version expresses the verse this way: “I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own” (AMPC).
When you take hold, grasp, and make your own all of what Jesus had already taken hold of for you, you begin to experience life to the full—the faith you’ve always longed for. If we would grasp and make our own what Jesus has already done for us, and what He has deposited in us, our lives would look very different than the tepid faith of the average churchgoer.
It’s not enough to know the promises of God, you’ve got to grab hold with all the firmness of the trapeze artist—release what is behind and take hold of what is ahead. That is the greatest show on earth. That is how the greatest faith on earth becomes a reality.
God’s promises are not automatic. We must move from knowing the promise, to believing the promise, to actually taking hold of the promise through obedient action in order to make them a reality in our lives. God told Joshua about the Promised Land, “I will give you every place where you set your foot” (Josh. 1:3). He and the Israelites had to “set their feet” to conquer the land; to grab hold of the promise that was theirs for the taking.
God’s power, provision, and purposes are for “whosoever will” (Mark 8:34 KJV). Will what? Will let go of all that holds you back from experiencing the abundant life of the adventurous faith and take hold of truth that makes it so.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, and to you and me: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, all that God has planned for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Another translations says: “What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]” (AMPC).
Every one of those plans that God has prepared, made, and keeps ready requires us to let go of one thing and take hold of another. It was this truth that gave me the courage and confidence to leave the comfortable land of in-between—to let go of simply being a nice church girl and venture into the purpose God had planned for me all along.
And that’s what God wants for you.
If you’re ready to take hold of all that Jesus has taken hold of for you, click over to my Facebook page and say, “I’m taking hold!”
Lord, I want to move forward and take hold of all that You have taken hold of for me, but sometimes I have trouble letting go. Help me to release all that hinders my spiritual growth and intimate relationship with You. I open my heart, my hands, and my eyes to all You have for me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
What is one thing that you are having trouble letting go of that you know God has called you to release?
What do you think would happen if you truly “Let It Go?”
Consider memorizing Philippians 3:12 “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
More from the Girlfriends
On the outside, many of us are well-put-together churchgoers with trendy shoes, beautiful families, and wide, white smiles. On the inside, we’re little girls hesitating at the edge of the playground, wishing we could join in, but feeling something’s not quite right. We don’t know how to truly take hold of the “life to the full” that Jesus offers us. So we settle for a life that’s . . . less than.
But a mediocre, mundane faith is not your destiny! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing.