Monday, January 13, 2014


Philippians 1:10(KJV)
"That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ."

"If you're bold enough to call yourself a Christian, be bold enough to walk in spiritual excellence." Toure Roberts

I remember, with both anticipation and dread, when report cards were distributed. The grading system in my elementary school was A,B,C,and D; excellent, good, average, and poor. Usually my grade for arithmetic was a C or a D, but I could always count on getting an A in spelling. No matter what my other grades were I took pride in the fact that my spelling was excellent. Excellence in spelling was my goal and I achieved it.

I have another goal that I have been pursuing. It's much more difficult than trying to be an excellent speller. I am in pursuit of spiritual excellence. To have more of Jesus and be more like Jesus. To walk in the Spirit so that I won't fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

In my pursuit of this goal there are powerful enemies that I have encountered that try to deter me from achieving my goal--the world, the devil, and the flesh. See Ephesians 2:2–3a.

Out of those three I think that the flesh, the old nature, is the one that I fear most. Like Paul I know that in me, my sinful nature, there dwells nothing good. Jim Elliot wrote, "Unwillingness to accept God's 'way of escape' from temptation frightens me what a rebel yet resides within." That rebellious spirit within frightens me as well.

Anytime you make a decision to walk closer with the Lord you can be sure that these enemies are ready to attack to try to get you off track from serving the Lord. That should not be a determent to pursuing spiritual excellence and neither should fear of failure.

In conjunction with the scripture in Philippians 1:10, Philippians 3:13,14 tells us that we are to "reach what is ahead and run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize." And verse 15 says "all of us who are spiritually mature should have this same attitude."

In your pursuit of spiritual excellence the Lord is walking with you and working in you. Philippians 2:13 tells us that "God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose."

We will never achieve perfection in this life and we will stumble and fall, but be encouraged by these words of C.S. Lewis.

"One falls so often that it hardly seems worthwhile picking oneself up and going through the farce of starting over again as if you could ever hope to walk. Still, this seeming absurdity is the only sensible thing I do, so I must continue it."
~C.S. Lewis, Letter to Arthur Greeves, (24 December 1930)

The Lord bless you in your pursuit of spiritual excellence!