In the third chapter of Philippians the Apostle Paul writes his famous words about "pressing on towards the goal." Just prior to those words, in verses 10-13, he writes the following: "I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. Let's take a look at who it was that was stating that he had "not yet taken hold of it." Saul had been handpicked by God to take the gospel to the Gentiles. He was struck blind and went through a name change. He had been rejected, beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned and spat upon by those who sought to discredit the story of Jesus. He had taken the message of Christ to the known corners of the world, and along with Peter and other disciples had turned the world upside down for Jesus. Paul walked as close to the will of God as any human being ever has. And yet, he spoke those words- "not that I have already attained all that." Paul wrote those words while sitting in a prison cell, arrested for preaching the gospel. And yet he knew that there was still more to learn. He knew he had not yet arrived. He was still searching.
When the great band U2 released their amazing album The Joshua Tree in 1987, it was considered to be an album that reflected the Christian faith of several of the bands members, including lead singer Bono. Yet one of their most deeply spiritual songs, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, created a great controversy at the time. How could they claim to be Christ-followers and yet still be searching? I remember preaching a sermon on the subject at the time and pointing out these lyrics from the song: