What comes to your mind when we talk about “finishing well”? I have always admired Caleb’s spirit in Numbers 13 and 14. Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “ We should by all means go up and take possession of it [the land] , for we will surely overcome it.” The Lord also compliments Caleb in Numbers 14:24, “…he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully…”.
“Following the Lord fully”… That sounds like another way of finishing well! How?
First, we need to pay close attention to our walk with the Lord. We must ask God to search our hearts. Is there any sin or wickedness? (Ps. 139:23, 24). Am I willing to admit I am wrong? If I am not willing to admit I have sinned, bitterness or pride begins to grow – and I have not finished well for that day. This will affect my heart for tomorrow.
“Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life” Prov. 4:23. This verse is of great importance! What are some of the issues we face in life? Has anything happened that makes you wonder if you can trust God anymore? Does He really love us when He allows such difficult things to hurt people? What about when it seems like He hasn’t kept His promise? Without diligently staying in God’s Word and praying during these difficult times, the heart becomes hardened. The hurts and lies we experience seem to become of greater importance, and it becomes challenging to continue to believe what Scripture teaches us.
What is competing with Jesus in your life? Could it be your friendships? Other people can affect the way we view God and life! It is vitally important to choose friends that encourage our faith rather than encourage bitterness.
Is it a love for money? 1 Timothy 6:10 tells us that the “love of money is the root of all evil.” To make money a god in our lives can bring about a focus that only pursues wealth. Be careful that a position doesn’t lead you to pride and power that you believe is by your own effort. “But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another” Ps. 75:7. Without recognizing your need for God, you will not finish well.
Waiting and loneliness can also be a test in finishing well. These times can seem purposeless unless we are focused on and surrendered to learning from Christ and His Word.
“Without spending time in the Bible, there is a starved and strengthless spirit, a comfortless heart, a barren life and a grieved Holy Spirit” F. B. Meyer. Along with spending time in the Word, we need to make prayer a necessary part of our lives. We need to spend time adoring God, confessing sin, expressing thanksgiving and sharing requests and supplications with Him. What a wonderful promise we have in Hebrews 7:25 that Jesus lives to always make intercession for us!
Caleb’s faith in God was evident in old age. Even when the majority of the people feared going into the land, his faith in God encouraged the children of Israel, “we will surely overcome…” And God honored his faith!
As believers, we also need to keep the “end of life in mind” as we live our daily lives. One day we will see Him face to face! “Now little children, abide in Him, so that when He appears, we may have confidence and not shrink away from Him in shame at His coming…and everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” 1 John 2:28; 3:3. Let these Words provide us with motivation to finish well!