Day 19: Finish at All Costs!February 22, 2015
Have you ever been tempted just to quit? Of course, the answer is yes, for discouragement pays a visit to all of us at one time or another. We can begin to think, I don’t know if this was a good idea after all. Maybe I’m not equipped for this job. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to do what’s in my heart.
Of course these kinds of emotions and thoughts are normal, but we are not called just to be normal. We have a supernatural calling from God to do supernatural things. We must therefore walk not by our feelings and thoughts, but rather by faith.
If God has put it in your heart to do something and you get discouraged along the way, you have only two options: 1) You can press forward with all that is within you until you experience victory — past all your emotions that are screaming that you’re going to fail; or 2) you can listen to your negative thoughts and emotions, fall out of your race, and fail to complete the assignment God has given you.
That’s why I want to talk to you today about the attitude and commitment that’s required to finish at all costs what God has put in your heart to do.
I learned to sew as a teenager and, oh, how I loved to sew! I made many beautiful outfits for myself. I even considered myself to be quite a good designer. In fact, I would lie in bed at night and think to myself, What kind of sleeve would look best on that dress? What if that sleeve was a little puffier?
One day while I was sewing — I remember this day so well ¾ I messed up and sewed a sleeve to my dress going the wrong direction. I knew that in order to finish that garment, I would have to take out all those stitches by hand and then sew the sleeve on the correct way. So do you know what I did? I just put that dress aside, and I never picked it up again. Instead, I started cutting material for another outfit! At that time in my life, I just didn’t have what it took to finish what I started.
You might say, “But, Denise, you were just a young person. That’s a fairly normal response for someone at that age.” But here is my point: At that moment, I had a choice to make, and I decided, This situation has become too hard, so I’m going to quit.
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This mindset that starts in childhood can continue throughout a person’s adult life. But this mindset should not be found in the people of God! Let’s look at just a few examples of people who were given difficult assignments, yet they refused to quit.
- What about Noah, who kept building that ark for nearly 100 years with no rain in sight?
- Think of Moses as he led millions of rebellious and complaining Israelites through the wilderness.
- What about Esther? What if she had decided, “This job is too hard! I can’t risk laying down my life”?
- Finally, consider Jesus, who suffered all the way through the Crucifixion, taking our very punishment upon Himself. What if He had said, “This is too hard — I want to quit”?
Sadly, this mindset of quitting when things get too hard has gotten into the Church. Too many Christians say, “It can’t be God’s will for me to suffer like this, so I am changing my course and my plan.”
Luke 14:28-30,33 has something very important to say along this line:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish…. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
I have read this passage many times, but there was a time when I didn’t understand what Jesus meant. I wondered, Why was Jesus talking about finishing a building? What did that have to do with giving up everything to be His disciple? But after meditating on this passage, I began to understand that Jesus was talking about surrendering and counting the cost. He was asking us, “Are you really serious about what you want to do for Me? Are you willing to pay the price that will be required to accomplish this divine assignment?”
For example, let’s talk about marriage. Are you willing to pay the price of loving, forgiving, and serving your spouse? Are you willing to correct your own attitude and make the changes you need to make rather than trying to change your mate? Are you willing to pay the price to have a marriage that truly is like Heaven on earth? Is it worth it to you to die to your own selfishness so you can have this kind of relationship with your spouse?
No matter what assignment God has given you, this is the question you must answer: Do you want to pay the price required to see it to the finish?
This devotional is so important because the enemy is pressing on many believers with heartache and destruction. The Bible says that the devil wants to “wear out” the saints so they will become discouraged and quit (see Daniel 7:25).
I encourage you today to check your heart and count the cost. Count the price you must pay to fulfill all that God is asking you to do. Make sure you’re committed to staying faithful to the end. Stay willing to go through any and every difficulty in order to finish your God-given assignment. Depend on the Holy Spirit to help you and teach you not just how to start your “building,” but also how to complete every wall and even the roof! If you will do these things, one day you will hear the words from the Master you’ve longed to hear: “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Thank you for spending this time with me. I continue to pray that these 28 days of devotionals are doing a wonderful work in your life! Please let us know how we can specifically pray for you about the things that are closest and dearest to your heart.
In His great love,