“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3.14 NKJV).
People can have many goals—get married, have children, earn a degree, create wealth, run a business, buy a big house, take a dream vacation, retire early—but those goals are fruitless if they are not seeded in the “upward call.” Having a higher perspective, one focused on eternity, is a choice that doesn’t come naturally. Our world and culture today are very goal oriented. Books, TV shows, websites, magazines, etc., all provide information on how to set and achieve goals. However, these goals must be planted in the Vine of Christ in order to produce results that enrich God’s Kingdom Plan on earth and heaven (John 15.5). There is nothing to fear, though. God would not place desires into our hearts only to torment us. We are citizens of heaven, and God has designed us with everything we need achieve our goals on earth. And if the goals we have set don’t come to fruition, God has something even better in mind for us. All we have to do is give God our goals and press on toward the “prize of the upward call” that God has ready for us. Switching from a self-focused call to an upward call is a simple decision that can radically change our impact on this world. We can choose to filter all our goals through the Holy Spirit, trusting that God has a plan for our good and for His great purposes.
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior” (Philippians 3.20 NLT).