by Joe Alain

Finding Joy in the Journey
Joe Alain
Philippians 3:12-21

1. Have the Correct Perspective (3:12-13a)
2. Engage in the Biblical Process (3:13b-19)
3. Remember the Motivating Promise (3:20-21)

We live life by deadlines and finish lines. We just passed the tax day deadline, and we can see the finish line for this school semester, some are counting the days till their next vacation, others are looking at retirement looming on the horizon. We live and die by deadlines, finish lines. But what we soon learn in life (if we're wise and sometimes it takes a while to figure this out) is to enjoy the journey along the way and not be just preoccupied with getting across the finish lines of life. Paul ran the race of the Christian faith with about as much diligence as a person could. But even though Paul was serious about finishing well as a Christian, he never lost the joy of the journey of faith. This passage from Philippians helps us understand why.

Paul has been sharing his desire to ''know Christ'' deeply and now it's as if he catches himself and pauses with the thought that some of the Philippians might misunderstand what he has said. Paul wants to be clear that he has not ''already obtained'' this status that he has been speaking of (3:12). He has not ''arrived,'' he's not yet been made ''perfect,'' as some translations read (ESV).

One reason Paul had joy in his faith journey was that he had the right perspective. He knew that he had not arrived and that always kept him on an adventurous journey of faith. If we are to have joy in our faith journey, we too like Paul must . . .
1. Have the Correct Perspective (3:12-13a)
The word translated ''arrived'' (NIV) or ''perfect'' is the word ''telios'' which means ''full-grown'' or ''mature'' as opposed to someone who is not fully developed, immature. A child compared to an adult. A ''sapling'' compared to the 300 year old oaks that line the drive at Oak Alley Plantation. The word was ...

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