Beware of the Holding Pattern


Pastor David Johnston

6/25/20231 min read

Several years ago, I was flying into O'Hare airport in Chicago. We were on our descent into the airport, when suddenly we felt the place start to rise instead of descending. I began to notice that we were circling. The pilot told us that we were in a holding pattern. That means we were moving, but we weren't making any progress. That reminds me of what Paul said:

Philippians 3:12: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus."

Paul, since his conversion, had grown in the Lord, and had achieved tremendous spiritual heights. If anyone had been content in their spiritual achievements, Paul could. Yet, you can tell by Philippians 3:12 that Paul refused to live his life in a spiritually neutral state. Nor was he living in reverse, just reliving the spiritual highs of his walk with God.

Paul said, I haven't attained, but I "follow after". In the next verse, Paul said that he was "reaching forth".

Are you in a holding pattern, spiritually? In your walk with God, did you start, make some progress, and then somewhere slow down, and now you're just circling? You're attending church... you're worshipping... you're singing... but you're not gaining ground?

Spiritually healthy people are not satisfied with where they are. They hunger for more of God and his power. They want a more intimate relationship with God. They want to be more effective in the kingdom of God. Today is a good day to determine that being in a holding pattern is not good enough. It's time to seek God more and to gain new ground.