MAR 31God Isn't Finished with Us Yet

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected. . . (Phil. 3:12)

Paul's situation toward the end of his ministry involved Roman imprisonment. He deliberately and carefully formed a confession of denial. He still had not captured the full knowledge of Christ or reached abiding spiritual maturity. He was on a lifelong spiritual journey, and he had not attained Christian perfection yet. "Not for me," said Paul. Christ had captured him on the Damascus road. Now, he wishes to capture Christian maturity.

All greatness consists of some negation. William T. Sherman was the Union general who led the fiery march through Georgia to South Carolina that virtually brought the Civil War to a close. He was so popular that his party wanted to nominate him to run for president of the United States. Sherman replied, "If I'm nominated, I will not run. And if I'm elected, I will not serve."

Nolan Ryan also lived by a philosophy of negation. On the night Nolan Ryan broke the major league baseball record for the most strikeouts, every known sports commentator from around the world was waiting for him to come out of the clubhouse. However, for his entire baseball career he was the last player out on the field, and this night would be no different. Even with baseball history left in his wake, Ryan would not vary his routine. After setting the record, he was asked why he hadn't come out sooner. He replied, "That's why I had this night." All greatness seems to consist of some kind of negation.

Lord God, when we honestly look at our lives, we know that we have not yet attained Christian maturity. Every time we sin by lying or losing our temper, we know that You still have work to do on us. Help us never to get caught up in spiritual pride that causes us to think we've spiritually arrived. Amen.