Many of us started our Christian race well but the most important thing is how we will finish the race. It is obvious that the devil is constantly trying to stop Christians from reaching the finish line.
The Apostle Paul was bold to assert that he had finished his race and was waiting to be crowned: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day — and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:7).
Anyone who desires to finish strong must realize that Christianity is a battle. Paul fought many battles, covered many distances with the mandate of the Great Commission, and was able to endure to the end. Many of God's people do not understand what Christianity is and the devil has manipulated many to believe in pseudo-Christianity. For lack of knowledge, God's people are destroyed. Many do not know their responsibilities as Christians and are unaware that the challenges they face are designed to build up their godly character; not lead them to despair.
Many of God’s people have been found wanting because there is an invisible power that is hindering their walk with God. Some call this power “the flesh,” while others call it human weakness. This is the power that hindered our fathers, mothers and is now hindering us from achieving God's purpose.
The Bible mentioned that there was no man as humble as Moses. God spoke to other prophets in dreams and visions but spoke to Moses face-to-face. Whenever I read about Moses and how he missed the promised land, I can't help but cry and soberly reflect on what could have deprived him of entering the promised land after all his efforts to take the Israelites there.
Moses had anger issues that he inherited from his parents. The Bible recounts how Levi and Simeon were cursed by their father Jacob because of their sinful anger and violence (Genesis 49:5). The genealogy of Moses can be traced to a man of Levi who married a woman of Levi (Exodus 2:1-10). Moses inherited the same sinful disposition as his forefathers. He disobeyed God's instruction and struck the rock instead of speaking to it to bring out the water. This singular act stopped him from entering the promised land.
What of David? The man after God's heart who failed morally. What could be responsible for David's promiscuous lifestyle? His genealogy reveals that promiscuity, far from being a unique personality trait, was something Rahab and Judah dealt with too. Solomon — David’s son through Bathsheba — struggled with the same sin. Even though he was the wisest man that ever lived, he fell victim to the same sin his father did.
There are many Christians today struggling with one weakness or another who find it difficult to let others know because of the reputation they have built as faithful followers of Christ. A retrospective glance at our family’s history will inevitably expose that there are family members who went through the same struggle either as Christians or as unbelievers. Our personal sins should be our first target in our spiritual warfare. If we fail to battle our sin in prayers, the weaknesses which it manufactures can stop us from finishing strong; just like it stopped Moses and Solomon.
Demas could not finish strong because he loved this present world and forsook Paul (2 Timothy 4:10). Many Christians will find it difficult to finish strong because of the love of the things of this world. Should Christians love this present world at the expense of the coming kingdom? Paul specifically mentioned that those who love Christ will also receive the crown which the righteous judge has prepared for those who finished strong. Those who eagerly wait for Jesus' appearance should love the present world less and work hard for the kingdom by spreading the Gospel.
The good news is that we all have the opportunity to finish strong, no matter how often we have fallen. The most important thing is that there is a chance for us to rise and dust ourselves off. We all can still finish strong if we seek God’s face in every circumstance.
If we understand that there are battles to fight and suffering to endure; if we can tell ourselves the truth and deal with our weaknesses through discipline and prayer, and if we wholeheartedly denounce the love of this present world, then we can boldly run this race to the finish line and stand before the master as He says to us, "well done my good and faithful servant" (Mathew 25:21).