Ref Hebrews 12:1-4
Finishing strong is not a sprint or a burst of energy, but a result of cumulative effort you put in your faith walk on a day-to-day, regular and consistent basis. In Christianity it’s not the end that justifies the means, but the other way round. There are at least seven things, not exhaustive, to consider when desiring to run the race well and to finish strong:
- Lay aside every weight
Weight is anything that weighs heavy on your soul – mind or emotions. It slows you down, distracts and causes you to worry. This adversely affects your faith. It’s in this vein that the Word instructs us to worry about nothing but pray about everything to GOD, and in turn He will reward us with peace inexplicable in our heart and mind. No one who runs to finish and win the race does so bearing weight or baggage. Similarly, in our faith race we need to travel light, keeping no access baggage in our soul and spirit, such things as fear, anxiety, worry, bitterness, grudges, unforgiveness, offence, sin, etc.
- Lay aside every sin that easily trips us up
Sin wears you out, discourages and disqualifies you from running the race. Every race has stipulated rules, the breach of which will disqualify you even if you finish the race. Now you see that finishing doesn’t guarantee a win. It’s how you run that decides the race. Sin that easily ensnares, wraps itself around us or trips us up is familiar to us. It’s more deadly because we tend to take it for granted since we’re so used to it. Do everything you can to strive against sin in your life, no matter how seemingly insignificant. No sin or wrong is insignificant.
- Run to win
Once again it’s how you compete or run that matters. It’s possible to run well and win but flout the rules and be disqualified. That is running in vain. That is why in every sport you need to carefully read, familiarize yourself and observe the rules of engagement before you enlist and participate. We have seen a lot of capable and outstanding athletes winning superbly only to be disqualified. If you run to win, you leave nothing to chance. You fully prepare and train yourself for engagement. You go for gold, having done your homework and background checks to ensure that nothing can deny you the win you crave with everything in you. Oh how I wish that the people of GOD will be serious minded and go for gold, leaving nothing to chance or for the dying minute.
- We have to be single-minded
Every competition or challenge is first and foremost a mind contest. You can barely win or achieve anything worth a while if you haven’t firstly decided it in your mind. Paul’s mind was made up and had a singular determination. His focus was ALWAYS on finishing strong and pleasing the One who had enlisted him. He knew there are no surprise achievements in spirit, everything is a result of deliberate action. We must be deliberate to see the results we desire in spirit. That’s how the spirit realm operates. In Luke 2:49 we see Jesus at the age of twelve engaging with the doctors of the law and asserting to those that looked for Him that He was consumed with His Father’s business. He left nothing to chance; He carved the life He desired to live before His Father. As we know, His Father was well pleased with Him. Take this lesson: you are responsible for the life you desire to live before GOD. Stop making lame excuses. “One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after.” Take responsibility.
You are responsible for the life you desire to live before GOD. Stop making lame excuses!