When I was thirteen I ran track for about a year. I was finally invited to run my first race and the excitement was overwhelming.
When my race began I gave it my all and I was in first place up until the last turn. Everyone that was running behind me blew right past me.
All the other runners knew something that I overlooked.
At the beginning of the race they paced themselves as they saved all their energy for the last stretch.
I must have missed practice that day, because I did not get the memo on that tactic.
It was obvious to me that I was going to come in last place, but I kept running and continued until I finished.
Run With Perseverance
The Christian’s journey is described as a race in the book of Hebrews.
Many have started this race and have given up in the process in exchange for worldly enticement.
Paul reminds us that we should…..
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I love the fact that he emphasized where our eyes should be fixed because you can’t run a race looking backward or sideways.
You have to keep your eyes on the finish line.
There will be many distractions both internally and externally but if you remember the reason why you showed up at the starting line, you’ll be motivated to finish.
The reward for all the hard work, setbacks, suffering, delayed gratification, and refusal to indulge in sin is to ultimately see Jesus in heaven and to experience His blessings here on earth.
How Do We Finish Well
1. Live Sacrificially
The world that we live in preaches instant gratification and doing what seems right in your own eyes.
That’s the perfect recipe for a sinful lifestyle because we were born in sin and intrinsically, we crave sin.
To finish well, we must prioritize Jesus and how he wants us to live through his word more than anyone or anything.
Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. ~Matthew 16:24~
The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. You have the Holy Spirit living in you that will convict and nudge you in the right direction. Your job?
To read God’s word and obey him wholeheartedly.
2. Fight The Good Fight of Faith
We are not only in a race but in a spiritual battle.
We must be reminded that we are to be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
The enemy seeks to employ different methods and tactics trying to make us let down our guard and succumbing to our fleshly desires.
In order to do this we have to put on the full armor of God.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
3. Maintain Your Intimacy With Christ
The whole point of finishing well is to be in heaven with our Lord and Savior!
What’s the point of sacrifice if you don’t know for whom you’re making this sacrifice?
From the beginning of creation, God’s desire was for him to have an intimate relationship with human beings but as we know, disobedience brought on the damaging effects of sin.
The ultimate goal of being a Christian is to know Christ and to make him known.
That I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death,
You can only run this race successfully if you become one with Christ and depend on him for his wisdom and guidance.
4. Be Consistent and Disciplined
For an athlete to compete successfully, they are certain disciplines that they must apply.
They’ve got to eat well, train consistently, wear the right gear, take feedback from the coach and the list goes on. Christians are no different.
Our tools are reading God’s word, prayer, fasting, fellowship, worship, etc.
These tools when used keep us grounded, spiritually aware and produce growth and development in our lives.
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. ~Hebrews 12:11~
This is what we need If we are going to fight against the devil’s schemes, defeat our sinful desires, and become more like Christ in all we do and say.
5. Godly Friendships
There is an old saying…If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.
The Christian journey is not a sprint but a marathon.
There will be traps along the way and speed bumps in the road. There will come a time when you feel as If you want to throw in the towel because persecution is real.
This is why the body of Christ is essential.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
Someone will always be there to pray with you, encourage you, intercede on your behalf, and hold your hand when you feel like giving in.
You don’t have to do this alone!
We don’t know how long we’ll be around. However what we know is that through God, we can live an impactful, purpose-driven, and faith-filled life.
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 appearance. ~2 Timothy 4:7-8~
The charge for you today is to finish well.
I wear many hats; Wife, Mom, Minister, Blogger and Entrepreneur.
It’s not easy juggling everything but with the Grace of God, I can do all things!
My plate is full but my cup runneth over!!