Laying Hold

Paul had an essential desire. He expressed it in Philippians 3:13 says, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” Is this your desire? While the world seeks to press us into its mold, we have to press through anything that would pull us away from our devotion to the Lord.

Moses recounted what the Lord had done for the children of Israel. Deuteronomy 6:23 says, “Then He brought us out from there, that He might bring us in, to give us the land of which He swore to our fathers.” The moment we accept the Lord’s finished work on the cross for ourselves, He brings us out, that He might bring us in.

Think about what He has laid hold of us for. Everything in our life is designed intentionally by our Creator for our good. Every trial is His strategic way to conform us to His image. Every relationship is part of His plan. Ephesians 1:11 says that He is working everything in our life according to the counsel of His will.

The question comes: Am I pressing in? What is pressing me into a mold that isn’t God’s way? Think of putting a round peg into a square hole. It doesn’t work. Neither does it work in our walk with the Lord. His purpose for you, is as individual as you are. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” You are who He has designed you to be.

Philippians 3:12 Amplified says, “…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.” Our trials are ours. Have we really grasped them to make them our own? Trials are not punishment. Hebrews 12:7 says, “If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?” The Greek word means education or training.

Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” The purpose in every trial is to take us deeper in our faith. It is in our trials that the Lord reveals Himself to us in a way we have not experienced Him before.

His attributes are like a kaleidoscope, displayed in various ways. Ephesians 3:10 says that He is using us, His church, to display His manifold wisdom to principalities and powers, rulers in high places that have dominion over unbelievers. 2 Timothy 6:12 is key. It says, “Fight the good fight, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” The way we do this is through our heart. Psalm 119:11 says, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” We lay up His word by hiding it in our heart. We don’t want to take up heart-real estate with buried unresolved issues. They cause us to sin through fleshly reactions.

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