8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 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. 13 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, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul said that there is nothing in the universe that compares with the greater value of knowing Christ. He endured the loss of all his possessions and considered them trash if their loss would make him know Jesus better. He wanted to be found in Him with the righteousness that comes from faith in Christ – righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. His purpose statement: that I may know Him in resurrection power, in suffering, in conformity to His death, all in order to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Paul wanted resurrection power and realized that suffering and death were the necessary steps to get it.
Spiritual Reality means laying down my soul-life in order to receive the Christ Life which Jesus will live through me, that is attaining to the resurrection. He indicates that this doesn’t come easy, but with much time and strong effort.
I must learn to press on, forgetting the past and laying hold of that for which Christ laid hold of me. There is a prize available for the one who will stay focused and reach his goal of knowing Christ and being conformed to Him. There is no higher purpose than achieving that. I have to evaluate thoughts, words, and actions today to discern whether they help or hinder my pursuit of purpose.