God Will Help you Cross the Finish Line!October 1, 2016
Today I want to pick up where I left off last month as I shared with you about finishing the race God has asked you to run. I’m talking about fulfilling your divine destiny and assignments!
Perhaps you have diligently put your hand to the plow of seeking God and growing in the knowledge of Him every day. I want to encourage you that your diligence and faithfulness have not been in vain. God sees you and is aware of every obedient step you’ve taken so far and of where you need to be to accomplish what He has called you to do. When the time is right, He will ask you to step out with a no-looking-back attitude that refuses to quit till the job is done.
As the children of Israel prepared to cross the Jordan River into their own promised land, the river was at flood stage — its highest stage of the year (see Joshua 3:15). Yet God commanded Joshua to instruct the priests to step into the river! God assured him that if they did, the water would supernaturally part so that Joshua and the rest of the Israelites could pass through on dry ground.
Imagine what Joshua must have felt. People were watching him and the priests, looking to see if the water would part as their leader had promised. Every eye in Israel was peering at Joshua in speculation. But this wasn’t his moment to shrink back in fear — it was his moment to obey! Standing on the brink of the Jordan River with its dangerous waters rising higher and higher, Joshua obeyed God’s command, and the priests lifted their feet to take that first brave step into the raging river.
As they obeyed, the waters parted just as God had promised. The Bible tells us, “And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan” (Joshua 3:17). It took one man’s courage and obedience for those waters to part — and because of Joshua’s willingness to obey, all the Israelites passed into their land of promise.
This account shows the power of one person’s obedience. Your own obedience affects many lives too. When you obey God, it impacts many people and paves the way for them to inherit His promises as well. Just think how your willingness to obey can make the way clear for others to follow and experience the power of God in their own lives!
This is not to say that obeying God is always easy or without challenges. I’m sure Joshua had to fight his thoughts, battle his emotions, and refuse to give in to the trepidation that no doubt tried to bombard his mind. Had Joshua listened to those thoughts and emotions, he might not have obeyed the Lord as he did.
Similarly, those who “stand on the banks” and simply watch the circumstances swell before them will never experience the power of God as Joshua did that day. If they want to see and experience God’s power, they must be willing to step up and do exactly what God is asking them to do.
Certainly, there will be a season for you to develop a dream or vision God has given you so it can take root in your heart. However, eventually a time will come when you must stop thinking about it and start taking action. If you don’t, your dream will remain in the realm of fantasy and imagination. But when you finally act on that dream and step forward to do what God has asked of you, that is the moment you will see God move into action and “part the waters” before you too!
Accomplishing what God is asking of you may seem impossible to your natural mind, but it’s not impossible with Him! Whatever God is telling you to do, think it over and pray about it a lot! Then there will come a moment — when the time is just right — when action must commence. God will speak to your heart one day and say, It’s time to get off the banks of the river and lift your feet to step into the waters. If you’ll do what I say, I assure you that you will see My power in action!
If you know it’s time to step out in faith, you must take your eyes off the raging, turbulent waters before you and fix your eyes on Jesus Himself. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2). You can be sure that what He starts, He will always finish. That’s why Paul said, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
That word “confident” is from the Greek word peitho, which means to be fully persuaded or convinced. Paul was literally saying, “I am fully and completely persuaded and convinced that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The word “perform” is the Greek word epiteleoo, which is a compound of the Greek words epi and telos. The word telos describes something that is accomplished, culminated, or fulfilled. However, the word epi gives force to the word. The way epiteleoo is used in Greek, it emphatically means that God Himself will move you toward the goal, and He will not stop until you have reached the end and your dream is accomplished, culminated, and fulfilled.
That means God is with you at the beginning of your journey, in the middle of your adventure, and all the way to the finish line! You may not always feel like you’re an overcomer, but God Himself is moving you — one step at a time — toward your land of promise! His grace is all the while motivating you, inspiring you, strengthening you, and lending you His very ability.
What race is God calling you to run? What river is He calling you to cross? What God is asking may seem as impossible as crossing the Jordan at flood stage. But His grace and power will pick you up and carry you toward the goal, and He’ll bring you all the way to its completion!
So I must ask you — what do you sense the Spirit of God is asking you to do? Whatever it is, your obedience will result in a manifold blessing of His power to increase you in every area of your life and make you a blessing to many others for generations to come. Whether it’s starting a new business, pursuing higher education, entering the ministry, or completing some specific task, such as reaching your unsaved family and friends — I encourage you to answer the tug of God in your heart to seek Him and then to step out when He gives the word, in great expectation of what He will do!
How can Denise and I and our team be specially praying for you this month? It is such a joy for us to join our faith with yours to see God bring to pass His glorious plans and fulfill your deepest heart’s desires.
We love you and thank God for you!
We are your brother and sister, friends, and partners in Jesus Christ,
Rick and Denise Renner
along with Paul, Philip, and Joel and their families