I am getting older physically every day. From birth to about 30 I got progressively stronger, more coordinated, and smarter. From 30 to about 60 I pretty much held my own in regards to what I could do and how I felt. From 60 to 72 it has been a fairly steady decline in what I am able to do and how I feel. I imagine the next 15 years will be pretty much the same as the last 12 years. I became a member of God’s family when I was 13 and I began to grow on the inside in the way of character and I think I have had pretty steady growth since then. There were a couple of time blocks that I plateaued, a couple when I back slid a little, and then some periods in my life that I grew at a higher than normal pace, but for the most part it has been a steady rate of growth similar to what I experienced physically in my first 20 years.
The goal that I have is that before I die or before Jesus returns, whichever comes first, that I will be perfect. The word perfect in the Bible doesn’t mean sinless; it means grown-up in character, fully mature. It is God’s will for each of us who claim to know Him and love Him.
Philippians was one of the last books that the Apostle Paul wrote, probably when he was about 64 years old, and Nero martyred him when he was about 65 years of age. In the letter, Paul says that he was not yet perfect; he is pressing on toward being perfect. Paul, by this time, has written most of his letters that are part of the Bible, he started many churches and has lived a great life for God, but he felt he still had some more growing to do.
Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
So, I can say with confidence that ”I have not already obtained it or have already become perfect, ” in fact I would say that I have a long way to go, but I would say along with Paul, ”I press on toward the goal of being perfect, of being what God planned for me when I was born again.”
”I press on, ” twice Paul says that in this passage. It means to put out extreme effort, and that is what I want to do, that is what I intend to do.