It’s hard to believe we’ve hit the mid-point of the year! Seems like only yesterday we were celebrating the dawning of a new year, setting goals, making resolutions, determined that this year would be vastly different from years past, grabbing hold of the promises of God for our lives and making choices daily that moved us in the direction of their fulfillment.
I made the decision to be unrelenting in moving into that place of grace in order to live life as I was created to live it, to allow myself to simply be all God has created to me to and to use the gifts and talents given me to allow Him to express His love, light and life uniquely through me. I admit it’s been a challenge. Any decision to leave what has become our norm brings resistance in various forms, resistance designed to keep us in the comfort zone, even when it has grown uncomfortable. But His grace has been there in the midst of the challenges and the resistance to make shifts and adjustments in small yet significant ways in order to live in and from this new place. As I have been willing to simply obey the voice of the Father, I have seen Him do what He has promised and I have found peace in the place of grace. I believe that I have begun well.
But I also recognize that it is not enough to begin well. The ultimate blessing is in finishing well. God’s glory is manifested in the finished work. At this juncture of the year, having begun well doesn’t allow me to fully possess what God has promised or to produce fruit that truly will remain. It moves me closer to living in and from my soul’s “Great Good Place,” but it doesn’t settle me in that place. It allows me to see glimpses of His glory, but not the full manifestation He desires. I’ve never heard it said, “All’s well that begins well.”
I must finish what I’ve begun!
Scripture bears this out, and one of my favorite examples is in Exodus. The Lord speaks His heart to Moses, “Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them.” (Exodus 25:8) And in the forty days that Moses spent in the presence of God on the mountain, he received detailed instructions for the building the tabernacle. As we read through the remaining chapters of Exodus, we see this phrase repeated: “And Moses did, according to all that the Lord had commanded him, so he did.”
The Lord spoke and, by faith, Moses responded to the word of the Lord through obedience.
Then we read this simple yet profound statement in Exodus 40:33b. “ . . . and Moses finished the work.” He left nothing undone! He didn’t skip a step! He didn’t devise a shortcut. He didn’t start and then decide there were more pressing things to do (after all, leading a stiff-necked people is a full-time job). He didn’t decide that it was enough to have the Ark of the Covenant and neglect everything else God had instructed. He didn’t allow the magnitude of the task to halt him. He didn’t allow weariness to stop him. He finished the work! What follows is astonishing to me. We read: “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” (Exodus 40:34,35)
There is a progression here that we can miss if we’re not careful. The Lord spoke. Moses obeyed. Moses finished the work. Then the glory of the Lord filled the house.
We see that same progression in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. He prayed in John 17:4,5: “I have glorified You on earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory I had with You before the world was.”
Through His obedience to His Father, Jesus finished the work He was sent to do and the glory of God was manifested in Him for all to see!
As we enter the second half of the year, take a moment to reflect. What has the Lord spoken to you? What have you begun that has yet to be completed? What are your next steps in this season to bringing that vision, that dream, that prophetic word to completion?
Be resolute! Finish the work and see His glory!