How many times in life have you started something and did not finish it? Do you have any open-ended dreams, goals and/or projects that you have left laying around undone that you’ve been meaning to get back to? How long has it been since you picked them up? Why did you stop pursuing them in the first place? Was it fear, a lack of discipline, money, the doubt of others….or maybe it was your own disbelief that you could actually achieve it if you kept going. Whatever the case may be, today’s devotion is about finishing what you start.
Whether you are restarting a workout regimen, picking up where you left off on that business idea or book, going back to school to get that degree, recommitting yourself to sticking with your budget or saving for that house; know that with God’s help, a mustard-size seed of faith (because sometimes that is all you have) and a commitment to doing your part, nothing is impossible for you to achieve. God’s Word says so in Mk. 9:23. God has an expected end for you and it is better than anything you could ever ask or imagine, but it requires you to finish what you started. Let us see what God’s Word says about it.
Today’s foundational text is Zechariah 4:10 which says, “Who [with reason] despises the day of small things (beginnings)? For these [a]seven [eyes] shall rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord which roam throughout the earth.” (AMP)
During Zerubbabel’s reign as governor of the tribe of Judah, during the time of the Israelites’ return from Babylonian exile, he embarked upon one of the greatest tasks known to any leader – to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple for a second time. After the first two years of rebuilding, construction was disrupted for, what theologians say was 17 years, due to the communal opposition of the Samaritans (Ezr. 4). For 17 years the plan of God for Zerubbabel’s life was dormant due to the opposition of others. It was not until the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (Ezr. 5:1-2) encouraged Zerubbabel, under God’s instruction, to resume work on the Temple. In the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes of Persia (Hag. 1:14), Zerubbabel resumed work on the Temple. His obedience to doing what God told him to do, through the prophets, opened the door for him to have favor with Persia to receive large contributions of money and materials to complete his assignment despite those who opposed. Continual encouragement from Haggai and Zechariah coupled with the financial support of Persia enabled completion of the Temple in four years (Ezr. 6). Although the journey for Zerubbabel to complete his God-given assignment seemed like it would never come to pass, IT DID, because God ordained it.
What has God told you to do that you have allowed your own insecurities, fear of the unknown, a lack of discipline, money, the doubt of others and/or your own disbelief to keep you from achieving? As Christians, we are constantly at war with what we see, feel and/or think and what God says about us, and what He’s purposed and ordained us to do in life. Often, this results in us starting and stopping dreams God has put in our heart; not realizing that this is only delaying us from seeing His promises manifested in our lives. In fact, us seeing God’s promises manifested in our lives has everything to do with what we’re doing and not what God is going to do. Sure, tests and trials will come along the way, but we have everything we need to overcome them and persist forward in our God-ordained purpose. All the odds were stacked against Zerubbabel, but he did not lose hope and persisted until he finished what God told him to do.
Whether you are restarting a workout regimen, picking up where you left off on that business idea or book, going back to school to get that degree, recommitting yourself to sticking with your budget or saving for that house; know that this is just the beginning. God has an expected end for you and it is better than you could ever imagine (Jer. 29:11). Be courageous. Finish what you started. Do not leave any of God’s blessings on the table because it may get a little uncomfortable or you can’t see the end in sight. Trust God wholeheartedly and know that He is faithful. If He said it, IT IS COMING TO PASS (Isa. 55:8-11)!!!
Prayer for the Fruit of Self-Control to Finish What You Started
Father God, in the Name of Jesus, I confess that I have not always been a wise and/or faithful steward of that which you so graciously entrusted to me to do your will for my life. I repent for not being quick to obey you in this area, not starting or finishing what I started, and/or handling your precious gifts of life, time, and talents so frivolously. I cannot do this without you. I ask you Holy Spirit to reveal what and how I need to chart my course from here, so I am perfectly aligned to God’s perfect will in faith, lifestyle, and purpose. Show me the areas where I fall short and help me to develop the corresponding Fruit of the Spirit, particularly self-control, so my life is where God makes His abode, and I am thoroughly equipped to fully accomplish every good work He has called and purposed me to do. Today, by faith, I decree that I have the Holy Spirit’s empowerment to finish everything that I start from this day forward. By faith, I receive and praise you for what I have prayed for in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today, I am challenging you to respond with action in the following ways:
1. Write down your answers to the following questions in your journal. Be honest.
a. Name one thing that has been a challenge for you to finish.
b. Why has it been difficult for you to finish?
c. Are you prepared to allow your reason to keep you from having God’s best in this area? If not, what are you going to differently starting today?
2. Find, read aloud, write out, and meditate on three Scriptures that speak to your responses to the previous questions. To Get You Started: Read, meditate on and pray Nehemiah 6, Philippians 4:16, and Ephesians 3:20.
3. Write out actionable steps, with due dates, towards that/those thing(s) that you need to finish (Hab. 2:2-3). Commit to completing one actionable step every month.
4. Ask your accountability partner to do weekly check-ups with you.
5. Chart your journey and/or progress by journaling daily.
6. Comment below what the Holy Spirit revealed to you and how you are going to partner with God to become more like Christ in this area.