“Now, O Israel, listen to the statutes and the judgments which I am teaching you to perform, so that you may live and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” Deuteronomy 4:1
The promised land was an undeserved gift to God’s people, the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. It was to be a gift to them, but they needed to take risks and fight bravely to receive it.
This is analogous to God’s gift to us of a fruitful, abundant life and experiential righteousness: things we cannot achieve on our own, without God’s help. He longs for us to take them from Him. Although the gift of eternal pardon and status as loved, adopted sons is settled in heaven forever, purchased by Christ’s payment on our behalf, becoming in practice fully what He designed us to be is a joint project with which we are invited to earnestly cooperate.
“But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance andgentleness. Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Timothy 6:11-12
Part of the full, abundant life God has planned for us includes good works that He Himself has prepared. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 They are ours for the taking.
Paul pleads with us to pursue and seize this fruitful life that God has waiting for us, which He is eager to have us take. It is His purpose for creating us.
“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.” Philippians 3:12-14
We pursue and seize and possess what Christ died that we might have.