“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Phil. 3:12 NIV emphasis added).
Friend to Friend
Have you ever felt stuck in your faith? Like you can’t seem to grow any deeper? Stand any stronger? Believe any better? I know I have.
Sometimes I feel like a trapeze artist who’s stuck hanging over the vast expanse in a circus tent, wondering why I can’t fly through the spiritual life with the greatest of ease like so many others seem to.
OK, let me backup. Have you ever watched a circus performer on a flying trapeze? An aerialist stands on a high platform while holding onto a tiny trapeze bar connected to a rope. She jumps off the perch and swings through the air. She swings out once, swings back above the platform, and swings out again.
It is usually during the peak of the third swing when the performer releases the bar mid-air and grabs hold of another bar or second performer swinging 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 of one bar and grab hold of another. If she refuses to let go of the first bar after she grabs the second, she’ll be stuck hanging between the two platforms with hands clinging to both bars…stuck. Not the greatest show on earth.
Paul wrote to the Philippians about how to keep moving forward and not get stuck in our faith, “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 we take hold—grasp—and make our own all that Jesus had already taken hold of for us, we begin to experience life to the full—the faith we’ve always longed for. We get unstuck and move forward.
When we grasp and make our own what Jesus has already done for us, and what He has deposited in us, our lives look very different than the tepid faith of the average churchgoer.
I’ve discovered it’s not enough to know the promises of God in my head. I’ve got to take hold of them with all the firmness of the trapeze artist grasping that second bar. At the same time, I’ve let go of anything that holds me back. 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 taking hold of the promise through obedient action in order to make them a reality in our lives. Let me say that again: know the truth, believe the truth, act on the truth.
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. They had to know it, believe it, and act on it.
God’s power, provision, and purposes are for “whosoever will” (Mark 8:34 KJV). Will what? Will let go of all that holds them back and take hold of the promises that move them forward.
And when we learn how to do that, we will get unstuck from a mediocre faith and begin experiencing the bold believing, mountain moving, giant slaying faith that God intended all along.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to let go, move forward, and live boldly!
Lord, I’m tired of being stuck in my faith. I want to take hold of all that You have done for me and placed in me. Help me let go of everything that holds me hostage to a life that’s less than You intended and take hold of a life that’s more than I imagined. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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 is one promise of God that you know in your head but need to take hold of with your heart.
More from the Girlfriends
Let’s get unstuck from mediocre faith and take hold of all that God has done for us and put in us! No more spiritual couch potato for me. I’m ready for the mountain moving, giant slaying, bold believing faith that God intended all along! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, and Live Bold you’ll see how to ignite your faith as never before.
© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
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