Have you ever noticed that it’s usually much easier to start a project than to actually finish it? The truth is, anyone can start projects. The world is full of just-started projects that looked great at the time but were never completed. There’s always a certain amount of excitement that comes with starting something. People rally around you and encourage you. There’s an energy that always comes when you’re first starting out.
But it takes a real man or woman of excellence and determination to bring something through to the finish-especially when you’re trying to do it in obedience to God. The last thing the devil wants you to do is be an obedient Christian. He will try everything he can to distract you and discourage you from finishing what you’ve started. But it takes godly determination to bring things all the way through to the finish.
If we want to be people of excellence and integrity, we not only need to start things, but we need to finish them as well. Whether it’s the small stuff like cleaning your closet or organizing the junk drawer in your kitchen, or it’s something big like starting a new business or ministry. You have to start with the small stuff, and the way you handle the small things is the way you’ll handle the bigger things.
There’s a great story about finishing strong in 1 Kings 18. In this passage, Elijah prayed for it not to rain and the Bible says that it did not rain for over three years. Then Elijah prayed for it to rain again and he declared to the wicked King Ahab that it would- even though there was no outward sign of rain on the way.
The Bible says that he got down on his knees and began to pray, and he sent his servant to the mountaintop to see if a storm was coming. His servant returned to say that there was no rain on the way. Elijah told his servant to go again, but there was still nothing. He told his servant to go back up to the mountaintop seven times. Finally, on the seventh time he saw the rain cloud on the way.
But what if he would’ve stopped praying after the second time or the third time? What if he got discouraged and stopped after the fifth or the sixth time? I think it took all seven times, and I think seven is just a representative number of doing something the perfect number of times until you are able to finish the job with excellence.
Today is a great day to make up your mind and say, “I’m going to be the person God wants me to be! I’m going to do what God wants me to do! I will not give up!” Of course, you must realize that it’s easy to commit to something when there’s no pain or discomfort, and you will have opposition. Remember, you have an enemy who doesn’t want you to finish-he doesn’t want you to succeed. He doesn’t want you to make progress. But if you’ll refuse to give up, there’s not a thing that he can do.
When you are determined to obey God and follow His commands you’ll live life intentionally…on purpose! You’ll be able to say to the devil, “I’m not going to quit! I’m going to keep trying until I finish the things that God has ordained me to do. I will finish strong!”
God wants you to finish and He is ready to give you all His power and strength to accomplish those things that He has for you to do. He’s not going to give up on you no matter what. He will always be there cheering you on.
If you really want to be ALL you can be, you’re going to need to be a strong finisher and not just an enthusiastic starter. Anyone can start, but it takes a determined person not to become lazy, lethargic or passive and to push through the opposition of the enemy to succeed. It takes a person of excellence to strive for the finish line no matter what. But I know you can do it! You can be ALL God created you to be!
Author/teacher Joyce Meyer has been helping people overcome life’s problems through biblical keys to practical Christian living since 1976. Her radio and television programs are broadcast throughout the United States and much of the world. For additional information, you may contact Joyce Meyer Ministries at P.O. Box 655, Fenton, Missouri 63026 or visit www.joycemeyer.org.
© 2009 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries