Acts 20:22-24 (NKJV) And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
What if you are on the sixth day of the march around Jericho? Could this be the 39th year in the wilderness? Is it possible that this is the 2nd day after Jesus’s death…and joy will come in the morning? I wonder how many times just before darkness turns to glorious light people walk away from destiny. How many times is our harvest abandoned because the field is considered barren and fruitless? Sometimes these are the very thoughts that keep my feet planted. How about you? To sow seeds of faithfulness but ignore the timing of God will certainly lead to one’s frustration. There is a prescribed time and season for all things.
These verses bear consideration in all things:
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NKJV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
Psalm 139:16 (NKJV) Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Jeremiah 29:11-13(NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
In the beginning of any endeavor there is a certain level of enthusiasm that produces motivation and drive. It is in the middle or just before the finish line that enthusiasm relies on experience to make it to the end. The Word of God is the Source of our life. It feeds and nourishes the soul of the victorious. It is the living water that saturates the heart of the triumphant. God has promised that He has made all things beautiful in its time. Eternity is our objective etched within our heart. The heart that He created to love and worship Him inside your mother’s womb at the same time handwriting the love letter of your life. He recorded every single minute before you breathed your first breath. He even went to the trouble to make sure that ALL THINGS work together for your good. The plan is for a future and hope in Him despite our sin and in spite of ourselves. We must stick with His Plan. Finish the race. Stay on course. But if you are still walking around solid walls and it is the sixth day, don’t quit… And if you are wandering in the wilderness after 39 years, don’t build a house…And if you are living in darkness, be sure to cling to your hope a little while longer…Jesus is coming! He is the finisher.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Paul was on tour. Each city did not welcome him with a fancy hotel room with comfortable bed filled with lovely gifts. He traveled from prison to prison. Beating to beating. Exchanging one set of chains for another. Yet Paul continued to be unmoved by his life-threatening situation, nor did he worry too much about his own life. He just wanted to finish the race with joy. Oh for grace to trust Jesus more and get over our personal discomfort, inconvenience and lack of control. To seek out the beauty of completion that offers full satisfaction and the joy of fulfillment.
God’s Plan for our life is better than I can think, ask or even imagine. If I truly believe that then I must follow the example of Jesus Christ and become a finisher just like my Savior and Lord. Jesus’ soul was nourished by God’s Work and His Motivation was to finish the work set before Him. (John 4) Jesus finished God’s Work on the earth. (John 17) And now Jesus had to go to the Cross which He so graciously did for us. (John 19) In that moment when Jesus said, “It is finished” on the Cross it was more than just words. It was the Word testifying that He had completed every single thing to perfection. Even saying, “I thirst” had meaning. Complete fulfillment of the Word of God. Jesus did everything God instructed Him to do. Do you? Do I? Do I take God at His Word to heart enough to complete each command with complete conviction?
Joshua 6 tells the story of the Children of Israel bringing down the walls of Jericho with simple yet radical obedience. God instructs Joshua who then commands the people to walk around the walls silently for six days. God did not specifically tell Joshua to emphasis the silence of the people. I believe Joshua knew that based on experience they must not be allowed to utter a single word or give way to complaining and grumbling as the days grew long. They could fight. They couldn’t shout or engage with each other or the enemy. They had to humble their life to God’s Plan and walk it out. Oh friend, sometimes we need a Joshua to remind us that God has a plan and it will lead to a promise if we will stop griping, complaining and grumbling at every inconvenience. To silence our discomfort and stop vying for control. Oh Jesus help us to become finishers for Your Glory and Great Name.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV) The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
In surrendering to God’s Plan for our life – it is simultaneous submission to His Timing. He has a plan in place for us clearly delineated in His Word but not carefully detailed to our liking. Faith requires trust. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and building our life upon it. This keeps us fluid as God moves us from glory to glory and victory to victory. Unprecedented favor is not found in immobility but in one’s ability to flow with God’s every moving, changing and transforming power. It is the impossible that produces miracles. Without seeds and seasons, there will be no harvest. We must only make it to the end. To endure to the finish to experience the Greatness of our God.
The end of that thing is nearing and it is so much greater than its beginning. It will be exceedingly abundantly more. You just have to finish. The walls of Jericho will come down but not until the 7th day and when all the steps are completed. The Promised Land is just ahead but you must keep moving to arrive at your destination. Every seed sown by faith in good soil will produce a harvest exactly as the Lord promised but only those watching the field will secure it. With each success in finishing comes new endurance for the next season of discipline, growth and maturity that lead to complete fulfillment and Kingdom outpouring to you and through you! Be confident in the Lord who has already promised to complete that good work that He has begun in you! Will you be ready? Will you be present? Will you be a finisher?
Romans 5:1-5 (NKJV) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.