Pressing On the Upward Way

“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).

Notice the cooperative partnership in our opening verse of scripture — God calls us upward, and we press toward the goal. Both are necessary. If God calls, but no one answers – nothing happens. If man presses, but God’s not with him – nothing happens. Nothing good, anyway.

Have you ever taken a volley ball into a swimming pool, pushed it down into the water, and then tried to balance yourself by standing on it? Did you notice that the deeper you pushed the ball into the water, the greater the force it exerted to rise back up to the top?

The air inside the ball belongs with the air above the water, and it will press upward to return back to where it belongs. That’s the way it is with us as followers of Jesus. There is something inside us that urges us to the summit; it’s the upward call.

Some merely drift along, hoping for a break here or there. But in Life, as in nature, nothing ever drifts upstream. The only exception to this happened in Texas during a freak flash flood.

floating stetsonThe waters rose so quickly that people only had time to scurry to their rooftops. One man, a reporter, sat on the house watching the floodwaters sweep past. There were cows, and cats, and all kinds of things zipping by the house. Suddenly something caught his eye. A $500 Stetson hat came floating down stream, just out of his reach. However, before it passed by, the hat stopped, turned around and floated back up stream. It then came back, stopped and turned back upstream again.

Amazed, the reporter said, “This is a miracle: it will be the lead story in my paper tomorrow!”

A woman sitting on the roof next door heard him and replied, “That’s no miracle. It’s my husband Cecil. He said he was going to mow that lawn come hell or high water!”

Like I said, nothing ever drifts upstream. Left to ourselves we will not rise, but retreat. However, God does not leave us to ourselves; He calls us upward. Something deep inside us is hooked to heaven; there’s a pull on our hearts which lifts us towards the higher way.

As the old hymn says, “I’m pressing on the upward way; new heights I’m gaining everyday. Still, praying as I onward bound, ‘Lord, plant my feet on higher ground!’”

When you hear God calling, press upward. One day heaven will be your home.

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