Pressing on ... no Matter the Age

But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments, I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One. 
Philippians 3:7 VOICE


Back when we were in our late thirties, John & I moved our young family from Dallas to Dayton, Ohio because of a job change. At that time we became a part of a fellowship called "Believers' Assembly." In those days, we were among the older folks because the congregation had been originally formed of college kids who had come to Christ and were spiritually growing under the ministry of young Rennes Bowers. As you can imagine, there was lots of life in that congregation.

I'll never forget the songs in the BA "blue songbook."** The origin of those songs, whether original to the group or not, is unknown to me. But I do remember them being enthusiastically sung to guitar music.

There is one that has been going through my mind recently ... maybe because of my decade-turning, sobering birthday this month. Wonderfully, it has become a message to me from the indwelling Spirit as an encouragement to my aged soul. Here it is:

Hosea 6:3
So let us know
ECHO --so let us know)
So let us press on to know the Lord

So let us know
(ECHO --so let us know)
So let us press on to know the Lord
His going forth
Is as certain as the dawn
And He will come to us
Like the rain
Watering the earth
So let us press on to know the Lord
Like the spring rain
Watering the earth
So let us press on to know the Lord

As I have remembered this song, I can't help but wonder how many of those sincere young people (now much older) are still pressing on to know the Lord even today?

And then I remember another group of young hippy-types back in the 1970's, who came to the Lord through my friend Lou Donnini. A precious group of older conservative Christians at First Baptist Church in Metuchen, NJ had caught the vision and opened a "coffee house" in the basement of the church on Sunday evenings, because these new "Jesus people" began flooding the church to hear the preaching of the Scriptures about the "end times." As you may remember this was the Hal Lindsay, Late, Great Planet Earth era.

And so again I think, how many of those Jesus People have been pressing on -- watching for HIM and "loving His appearing"?

The apostle Paul had it as his goal to "press on." And I can so identify with the religion-ness of his life before Christ.  His rehearsal of "his life in religion" in Philippians, chapter 3 is not unlike my own. Here's his pristine perspective of before Christ then after (how I love it!):

3 We are the true circumcision—those who worship God in Spirit and make our boast in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King—so we do not rely on what we have accomplished in the flesh.

4 If any try to throw around their pedigrees to you, remember my résumé—which is more impressive than theirs. 5 I was circumcised on the eighth day—as the law prescribes—born of the nation of Israel, descended from the tribe of Benjamin. I am a Hebrew born of Hebrews; I have observed the law according to the strict piety of the Pharisees, separate from those embracing a less rigorous kind of Judaism. 6 Zealous? Yes. I ruthlessly pursued and persecuted the church. And when it comes to the righteousness required by the law, my record is spotless.

7 But whatever I used to count as my greatest accomplishments, I’ve written them off as a loss because of the Anointed One. 8 And more so, I now realize that all I gained and thought was important was nothing but yesterday’s garbage compared to knowing the Anointed Jesus my Lord. For Him I have thrown everything aside—it’s nothing but a pile of waste—so that I may gain Him. 9 When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him, not clinging to my own righteousness based on law, but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One. This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith. 10 I want to know Him inside and out. I want to experience the power of His resurrection and join in His suffering, shaped by His death, 11 so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.

12 I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect; but I am charging on to gain anything and everything the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me—and nothing will stand in my way because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. 13 Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived; but there’s one thing I am doing: I’m leaving my old life behind, putting everything on the line for this mission. 14 I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts: to cross the line, to win the prize, and to hear God’s call to resurrection life found exclusively in Jesus the Anointed. 


I too was very religious growing up in church, sincerely and devoutly and genuinely so. I used to read the lives of the saints as a child (along with Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys). When I graduated from high school I received the religion award from the bishop of our diocese. I was in a convent for 2 years. And I believe I possibly came to Christ at my Confirmation at 12 years old. But as Paul did in thinking of all the religiousness in his own life, I count it as nothing compared to knowing my Lord and His indwelling life, knowing and pursuing HIM! 

And so I'm pressing on right now, today (it's a daily walk, you know) ... not perfectly, mind you. Never perfectly, although that's what He deserves. But the Lover of my Soul loves me despite my broken humanness because He sees me IN HIM. And because HE IS IN ME, I know I can press on with His abundant life in and through me as me.

How about you, my precious friend? Are you pressing on? Don't get sidetracked by all the Christian stuff. It's CHRIST HIMSELF who is worthy of all our attention, all our pursuit. Join me in pressing on to know HIM, whom to know is life eternal! Amen. 


**See another "blue songbook" song that I had forgotten about. What I affectionately call "Craig's Song: I am Waiting for the Dawning."

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