“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Last week I sat quietly before the Lord and asked myself what “finishing well” looks like. First and foremost it means I’m constantly growing in my intimacy with Jesus. Finishing well is seen when I’m living a life fully pleasing to the Lord through my obedience. It’s displayed as I’m mentoring the masses through my writing and speaking. And lastly for me, finishing well means I’m investing in other people’s lives, hopefully causing them to fall more madly in love with the Lord and helping them become emotionally set free.
I then examined the enticements, distractions, or temptations which prevent me from finishing well. (Hebrews 12:1) Next, I contemplated the changes I needed to make in my schedule, habits and commitments in order to accomplish all that God has asked me to do. One area the Holy Spirit shined His light on is getting more organized and setting up systems of maintenance in dealing with my paper clutter. I was also convicted in the area of cleaning as I go, instead of putting things off till a huge mess has been made. I have more peace when there’s less clutter and everything not only has a home but is living in its home. It boils down to having more self-control, telling myself no, and being more disciplined. When you hit the last third of your life it’s tempting to sit back and relax and coast through the remainder of your life. Instead of slowing down, I sensed the Lord say, “It’s time to pick up the pace.” He gave me an analogy of a runner in a race that begins to see the finish line up ahead. That is typically not the time they slow down; rather it’s the time they speed up and give it all they’ve got! No matter whether you’re 24 or 64, are you running in such a way as to win the prize? “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” (I Corinthians 9:24)
Running to win involves being purposeful and intentional in our lives along with being determined and having perseverance. We must be steadfast and tenacious with what God has placed in our hands and decide not to turn back until we’re done fulfilling God’s call and He takes us home.
My husband and I are currently assessing our core values and from those we’ll write the goals we desire to accomplish in the next seven years. We don’t want to follow the old adage, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Research has shown that if you write your goals down, you are more likely to fulfill them.
I have a young-at-heart-ninety-seven-year-old friend named Germaine who continues to upgrade her relationship with the Lord. Even though she’d rather be home with Jesus, she keeps ministering to others through prayer and mentoring.
I want God to receive as much glory as possible through my one life. When I finally go home, may God be able to say of me, “She finished well, won the prize, and kept the faith.”
“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 appearings.”
II Timothy 4:7-8
1. Personally, what does “finishing well” look like to you?
2. What hinders you from finishing well?
3. List specific changes or goals in your life the Lord wants you to make in order to complete His assignment.