TOPIC: DECIDE TO CROSS THE FINISH LINE
We are all involved in a race; the race of life. Life is a journey and the decision to cross the finish line no matter what may be happening around you is yours to make. The bible says weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5). It is those who endure to the morning that will experience the joy the morning brings. On this journey of life it is important to forge ahead no matter what. Apostle Paul said he didn’t consider that he had achieved all yet, but his one aspiration was to forget what was behind and strain forward to what lay ahead (Philippians 3:13-14).
Holding onto the pain of the past will paralyze you and prevent you from moving forward. You may not be where you desire to be, but forget the defeat, shame, embarrassment, harassment, offense and pain of the past and aim at what is ahead of you if you want to excel in life Make the conscious decision to stop visiting the pain of the past so that it doesn’t rob you of the present and the glorious future ahead. Focus on the finish line so that you achieve the prize. Anything that is not beneficial should be put behind you and make sure you don’t look back.
The prize is notat the beginning or the middle; it is at the end of the race,at the finish line. For your life to benefit you, you must cross your finish line. In life you don’t havea rival. You didn’t come to the earth with anyone and you won’t leave with anyone. You don’t have to finish at the same time with anybody. You are not in competition with anyone. When God created you, he made you in His image and He sent you to have dominion over this world. Before He formed you, He knew you and He ordained you for a particular purpose (Jeremiah 1:5). Your assignment is different from that of others so never compare your journey with others. Every single individual is unique, that is why we even have different thumb prints. It doesn’t matter how early others finished, all that God desires is that you will finish your race.
In every competitive game, the only proof of competition is when you cross the finish line. The final whistle is not blown until the last person crosses the finish line. You are not competing in the race of life to be first but to finish your individual race. Your duty is to finish the assignment that God has given you on earth irrespective of your challenges and trails. As you walk out of here today, walk out with the determination to never give up until you finish the race.
ELISHA’S EXAMPLE OF CROSSING THE FINISH LINE (2 Kings 2:1-15)
- FROM GILGAL TO BETHEL (Vs.1-2)
The bible says that when the Prophet was about to be taken, he said to his servant Elisha, that the lord was about to take him home. Elisha caught the revelation that something was going to happen at the finish line and he needed to be a part of. If you haven’t crossed the finishing line, you won’t discover everything. If you don’t serve to the end, you will not receive the last-minute secrets and blessings. Don’t be in a hurry to go away or path ways with your mentor. Elisha could have decided to stay at Gilgal but he knew that the best is always reserved for the last minute.
If you are loyal, you are loyal. Your loyalty should not be dependent on other people’s behavior to you. It should be about your own personal decision. If you are loyal, even if the person is disloyal to you, you will still stand on your integrity. Elijah asked Elisha to go back but the young prophet refused and insisted on following his master.
- FROM BETHEL TO JERICHO (Vs. 3-4)
The sons of the prophets all told Elisha that God was going to take Elijah away but he didn’t focus on what they were saying. He wasn’t convinced or confused, he maintained his loyalty. Sometimes, the devil will assign people to confuse and deceive you, they will come to you and act like they know your life more than you do. They will act like they are going to give you the best advice in life. The irony is that these people will succeed in confusing and deceiving many and yet they themselves will stay put. If you are not sensible, you will fall into the trap of these people. Many of them are in the church today.
Elisha’s answer was simple “I know, hold your peace”. The sons of the prophet wanted to cut shut Elisha’s destiny but he didn’t’ allow them to confuse him. He knew the journey may not be an easy one but he decided to cross the finish line with his master. He understood that there will be secrets at the end of his master’s journey that will surpass the beginning of the matter. The bible says “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8).
- JERICHO TO JORDAN (Vs. 5-8)
The 50 men of the sons of the prophets also attempted to discourage Elisha. When they failed they then began watching to see what would happen at the Jordan. Don’t take any decision based on the noise of the people, rather let it be based on God’s word and your determination to finish well.The noise of others will lead you astray, be determined. And know that it won’t be an easy task. You will be attacked, hated and called all kinds of names by men. Stay focused and be determined to wait and see what God is doing with your life. Don’t conclude early, never give up. Determine to finish your race.
- THE PRIZE IS AT THE FINISH LINE (Vs. 9-14)
There are some masters that will not easily pass over the baton; they want to first see the desire and loyalty of the follower. Many of us today want to dictate for our bosses. We forget that no matter what you write in an exam hall, it is the examiner who marks your paper that will determine the score you will get.Elijah was testing the loyalty and commitment of Elisha. Do you know that in all the years of Elijah’s ministry, he never parted the Jordan until the very end of his ministry? If Elisha hadn’t stayed, he wouldn’t have seen this miracle or understood how it could come about. The unusual anointing didn’t happen in Gilgal but at Jordan. The unusual miracle happened just before the finish line. Many here quit too early we do not wait till the end to see what God is doing;we allow the hindrances to cloud our mindset.
It was at the finishing line that Elijah said, “Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you” (Vs. 9). Don’t judge your case too early, God is taking us on a journey, don’t stop before the time. Many of us want praises too early, and because we feel under-appreciated, we quit before your time. Many want to take our benefits earlier than it’s due. We blame God because many of us have set agendas for ourselves and we want God to fit into the agendas that we have set. We lose the miracle because we are so blinded by our expectations that we miss the gift of God laid out for us. God is working on your story, just wait till the finishing line and see what will happen.
- It is not those who began that are rewarded with the prize but those who completed their assignment. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him (Hebrew 11:6).
- Never think you know all until you have completed the journey;don’t be arrogant.
- The anointing is only transferred to your life if the person that called you certifies you and qualifies you. Don’t be in a haste to certify yourself.
- Don’t take a decision to quit before the finishline; you may lose the little you have due to wrong decision.
Elisha asked for a double portion. He knew what he wanted and that is why He was determined to see the journey through to the end. Many of us don’t know what we want; we just accept what the devil feeds us. Many have allowed the enemy to deceive us and cut us off from our place of glory. Elisha got the double portion because he remained faithful and obedient to his mentor.
On the contrary, Elisha’s servantGehazilost the heritage of anointing, the legacy that will have passed on to him because of his disobedience, unfaithfulness and deceit. He accepted the contaminated gifts of Haaman and he lost everything that he had. If he had waited just a little bit more he would have inherited it all from Elisha (2Kings 5:15-27).
Don’t jump the gun. God is not stupid. He will not make a stupid person your leader. The leader might look stupid to man but God has a purpose of putting him there. All youneed to do is be patient and obedience. It is wise to wait, and enjoy the rewards.
- WHEN YOU CROSS THE FINISH LINE, BOTH YOUR ADMIRERS AND ADVERSARIES WILL APPLAUD YOU (2Kings 2:15)
The journey of life is precious and delicate. If you decide to respond to your adversaries, as you turn you might lose the delicate thing in your hand. If you decide to answer your admirers, you may be tempted to rejoice before the time and in so doing, you may also lose it. Just focus on the finish line, and when you cross the finish line, both haters and lovers will join together to cheer you on like they did to Elisha. Your life is all about decisions;don’t take a decision that will distract you from your goal. Focus on your journey, and take decisions that will help you finish well.
- Dear Lord, help me to make good decisions all the days of my life in Jesus Christ’s name.
- Oh God, help me to finish the race of life well, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.
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