“I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).
The Apostle Paul uses the language of an athlete competing for the ultimate prize. Intermediate victories are not something he will settle for because his eyes are on something much greater. They may be used as a means to lead him there, but the ultimate prize is the fulfillment of the upward call. This has more to do with becoming someone than getting something. He qualified to enter in to the competition of becoming all that God had called him to become. And out of his becoming, he was enabled by the Holy Spirit to do all that God had called him to do. We too have been called by Almighty God to achieve a standard of spiritual excellence. It is a standard of living out and giving a full and clear expression of the life of Jesus Christ upon the earth. The world is in desperate need of knowing Christ and He can only be known through His Church. He was aware of his imperfections and areas where improvements were needed. But also open for God to reveal to him any blind spots that he at that point was not able to see. His was a matter of progressing in Christ towards the ultimate goal that was before him. To be found in Him, not having his own righteousness or self-justification of deeds, but totally yielded to Christ. We must set this as our goal as well. He has called us to reach up in order that we may touch the world with His love and power. This can only happen when it is all of Him and none of us.