This is Life {My Eye on the Prize}

I press on to reach the end of the race
and receive the heavenly prize
for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Philippians 3:14

Paul’s words have consumed my thoughts lately. I know I’ve told you this passage inspired my One Word for the year: Intentional. But have I told you it also inspired the blog name Simplystriving?  It did and I’d like to tell you why this verse means life in every essence to me.

This world is wrought with obstacles. They bombard us on all sides and it becomes easy to be consumed by them. Some even call this “life.” These things that stare us right in the face, begging for our everything. And yet He’s asked us to look up and press on. Strive to see beyond the now and look towards what He’s preparing for us this very instant: Home.

Friends, we’re simply striving to find our way Home. And He’s promised. If we keep striving, we’ll be rewarded well for our journey.

I must confess to you…I have days where this vision feels like it will never materialize. Days where I forget it’s a promised reality. It seems out of reach as I become consumed with my own failures.

Even then I feel it. This burning desire to get to the finish line. This urge to meet Him at the end and receive the prize He’s promised. We’ve talked about why: He buried the prize of eternity with Him deep within our own souls. Giving us the desire to press on to obtain it fully.

So I remind myself to look beyond the minute details of my everyday and see what life is really all about: My Father welcoming me Home. Oh Jesus, I’m on my way…

Friends, I am hoping you will extend some grace to me today, this Music Monday. Because I feel the need to share with you one of my favorite Francis Chan illustrations instead of a song. Let me tell you, this 4 minute video is worth your time. It changed my perspective in more ways than one. It makes my soul sing every time I view it, which was the purpose of Music Mondays to begin with. Please watch it sometime, even if you can’t now. (Subscribers, CLICK HERE to press play on the image below.)

Francis Chan ~ What are You Living For?

We know this life here on earth was a gift. The kind of gift it is has changed for me over the years. But I think I’m beginning to see. And I know how I’m going to explain it to the children He places under my care.

Oh friends, this life here is all about love. A gift of time, giving us the chance to completely fall head-over-heels in love with Him.

Last week, over at Lisa-Jo’s, she gave us a 5 minute writing prompt on the word ‘Focus’. And as I read a number of posts from my friends in that community, I started praising Him for something I have never focused on before.

We all have heard it said, but more importantly, we have all experienced it. This road we’re on…it’s narrow. The path is skinny and is so easy to get off course when we lose our focus. I used to view that as the dare of life. A challenge to us that have chosen this path of Christ.

But now I see if differently. I think the road is narrow because we’re easily distracted. And I’m learning the longer I keep my eye on the prize, the less I see around me. The path gets even smaller. Sometimes so small I feel like I can’t see the next step.

Do you want to know why I think that is? When we take the focus off ourselves and keep our eyes fixed on Him, He envelops us with His love. And pulls us in close. Holding us tightly in His arms. Oh how He loves us.

And the closer I am to Him, the less I can see need to see. Oh Father, keep my road narrow with You blocking my view.

Friends, I don’t need to see down the road.
I just need to see The Prize.
And keep striving to make it to the day
my scandalous love affair turns into my wedding day.
Then I’ll know I’ve arrived.
I’m in love. And I’m finally Home.

How about you, friends? What is life to you? How do you keep your eye on the prize? I’d love to hear.

Thanks for sharing your time with me.

Simply striving,

Nikki

LINKING WITH: Mercy{INK} Heart and Home

NOTE: For more reading about this, I encourage you to read the entire chapter of Philippians 3

ATTENTION FRIENDS:
I am currently accepting guest posts for
this Music Monday slot here on Simplystriving.
Please know you do not need to have your own blog
to submit a post that shares your heart.
To express interest or find out more about this,
please email me at Simplystriving (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thank you!

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23 thoughts on “This is Life {My Eye on the Prize}

  1. “And the closer I am to Him, the less I need to see.” Great perspective. I think it’s because the closer we are to Him, the more we know Him, and when we truly know God, we realize there is not a thing to fret over. It’s not in His being to abandon us. He will be there. No. Doubt.

  2. When I see/experience “new” happening, and know the source is God….it’s another gallon in my tank for sure. I take it as evidence of a Kingdom that is coming, as God calls to us as He did to John on Patmos and says, “Look, I’m making all things new!” 🙂

  3. “When we take our focus off ourselves and keep our eyes fixed on Him, He envelops us with His love. And pulls us in close. Holding us tightly in His arms.” Oh Nikki I loved this and pray to have the wisdom to experience It. Blessings to you as we travel His wonderful Way.
    Joy

  4. I love this: the closer I am to Him, the less I need to see. Being consumed with love for Him hides all distractions. I don’t need to know what’s up ahead or around the corner, because I am right where I need to be. This is just beautiful Nikki and a feast for my soul today!

  5. I love Francis Chan, and Crazy Love is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Like the other gals mentioned, this is beautiful: “The closer I am to Him, the less I need to see.” Totally Tweetable 🙂

  6. I love this passage in Scripture — pressing on. Implication there of such strong desire to reach that elusive prize. Oh, but not as elusive as we humans think. If only we turn our eyes on Jesus, we’ve seen the prize — His blood for our sins, our salvation bought and paid for. Such a prize! Dear Nikki, thanks for such a lovely start to my week.

  7. When I am close to Him, I don’t need to see anything else but Him. Oh this is what I want, truly. My heart yearns for it. Some day sit seems so far away. Love Francis Chan!

    • Oh Barbie, if you have not read “Crazy Love” it is worth your time!
      I’m having days lately where I’m needing to remind myself I don’t need to see…what grace He lavishes upon me… Thanks for sharing with me, friend. Hugs to you!

  8. Nikki, I love listening to Francis Chan! Thank you for this very very timely video clip. And your words. After losing my father in law this past week, I’m an emotional mess of fear. I know part of it is normal mourning, but a very large part of it is my mind trying to come to grips with death. I’ve been shaken by the enemy and God just used you to speak powerfully to my heart. Thank you friend. Thank you so much! I had not seen this clip before. What a blessing.

    • Oh Rosann…I wish I could hug your neck and cry it out. I’m so humbled God found a way to lavish love on you through my extended words, friend. Hold on tight to it. Him reaching. Oh how He pursues you. (and if you haven’t read Crazy Love by Francis Chan…add it to your list!)

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