I remember a woman who came to one of my conferences. While she was there, she met several ladies who shared their stories of past abuse and how they overcame it. This really affected her because she had a lot of trouble in her life from abuse she’d experienced. By the end of the conference, she told me she’d learned a great lesson:
“The other women at my table had been set free from their issues,” she said, “but I was still dealing with mine―and now I realize why. God told me to do the exact same things He told the other women to do. The only difference was, they did what He asked them to do―and I didn’t.”
Have you ever had the feeling God wanted you to deal with something you didn’t fully address the first time around? I have, and it’s not a particularly good feeling. When we find ourselves in a situation like that, we need to be willing to back up and deal with that issue.
In other words, we need to finish what we start.
In Christ, We’re Able to Get the Job Done
Jesus didn’t come to set us partially free from sin. He died to set us completely free. And when God calls us to do anything in life, He’s not asking us to do it halfway.
Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”
Paul is making the point that it’s reasonable for you and me to dedicate ourselves to do God’s will. It’s not radical or over the top. That’s why we’re here―to be beacons of His light, shining in a dark world. So we need to follow through with what God calls us to do.
The truth is, we will never experience the fullness of joy and freedom that’s available to us in Christ if we refuse to do what God tells us we should do. And whatever God asks us to do is for our good. He always has our best interest at heart.
Maybe you have someone in your life you need to forgive. Or you simply need to start eating right or be a better steward of your time, talents and resources. Or maybe you’re settling for less in a certain area of your life when God wants you to follow His plan to do something greater. I could give you hundreds of examples. But the bottom line is, with God’s help, we are able to do everything He asks us to do. And we need to be diligent about pressing in to do whatever it takes to get the job done right.
Why Not Just Pray for a Miracle?
Everybody loves miracles and it’s tempting to ask God to do the work for us, but I’ll tell you a secret: Miracles don’t mature you. For years I didn’t understand that. I just couldn’t figure out why I had to work really hard for my breakthroughs when God could just do it in a moment. But His ways are above our ways, and He has a purpose in everything He does!
There’s nothing better than having the peace, righteousness, joy and satisfaction of knowing you’ve finished what God has given you to do. The reward is so much greater than whatever price you have to pay. It may not feel good while you’re going through the process of getting there, but when it’s over, you have that satisfying feeling of knowing you did what God put in your heart to do. You can sit back, relax and watch God move!
I want to encourage you to partner with God to take care of any unfinished business you may have in your life. It’s amazing how quickly you can experience freedom if you will simply do what God has asked you to do by His grace, and finish what you start.