Tag Archives: Bible

Live Long, Live Strong Part 2

Live Long…by the Book (The Word of God)

Like every other blessing, there are conditions to living a long life. Psalms 91 is a picture of the person who receives this blessing.

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.”

The person this is talking about loves God and stays connected to Him. He doesn’t fear, but trusts the Lord to be his refuge and says so. The truth of God’s Word is his shield and buckler. He dwells or abides under the shadow of the Almighty in obedience, and God shows him His salvation. The word salvation means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness.”

God will satisfy you with good things, including healing, protection and long life when you are living and abiding in Him.

Keep Doing God’s Will

For years I heard Kenneth Hagin say you ought to live 70 or 80 years, and if you’re not satisfied, live awhile longer. He proved that to be true. He passed 80 and just kept going until he finished his work.

A commentary on Psalms 90 in the Tehillim says until Moses reached 80, like other men he was growing weaker. But look what happened to him then. “When he reached the age of eighty, Moses received an extraordinary infusion of youthful energy and vitality, because at that time he was chosen to lead the Jewish people out of Egypt, to receive the Torah, and to lead the Jews to the Promised Land. This Divine mission so invigorated him that his health and strength remained undiminished until the moment of his death.”

Deuteronomy 34:7 says, “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”

Just as He did with Moses, God can give you a new assignment at any time. So if you have noticed that you’ve been slowing down because you’re getting a little older, double up on the Word. Let the Word be made spirit and life to you (John 6:63). And get involved with what God is doing. That’s the best way to live a long, productive life.

Acts 1:1-2 in the New Living Translation says, “Jesus began to do and teach until the day he ascended…” That’s my plan too—to do and teach until I ascend! I encourage you to do the same. Live long and live strong-stay well and stay here as long as God has something worthwhile for you to do.

You Don’t Have to Be Sick

One woman wrote to us and asked, “If I keep getting healed, how am I ever going to die?” The best way for your body to die is for your spirit to just leave. You don’t have to be evicted—forced out by sickness, disease or accident. God can call you out and say, Come home. Come on up here. You can simply pass over from this side to the other side—from earth to heaven. I get excited just thinking about it. Glory to God!

You don’t ever have to be sick. God’s best is for you to live in divine health every day, but He is also eager to heal. John G. Lake said, “Divine healing is the removal by the power of God of the disease that has come upon the body. But divine health is to live day by day, hour by hour in touch with God so that the life of God flows into the body just as the life of God flows into the mind or flows into the spirit.”

You live in divine health by staying in continual contact with the Word of God and the Spirit of God. In fact, the way to be free in every area of life is to attach yourself to God.

It’s your responsibility to stay well and whole. You do that with the Word of God and by resisting the devil. Go to the Bible and find out the truth. Realize that healing belongs to you and stand in faith for it. Rebuke symptoms when they try to come. Say, “No, you’re not coming here, in the Name of Jesus. I’m healed by the stripes of Jesus.”

When the devil tries to crowd your mind with dark thoughts about your life being cut short, rebuke them. Replace those thoughts with the promises of God. Speak the Word out loud in faith. Remember Psalms 91 says the person who makes the Lord his refuge, the one who receives protection and deliverance, has to say so.

Obey Natural and Spiritual Laws

God didn’t make your physical body to fail. He made your physical body to sustain itself when given the right food and the right conditions. He created your body to stay well and live to be of old age.

And if that’s your goal, you’ll need to determine that. Regardless of what ailments your relatives have had, they don’t need to affect you. Don’t look at your family history. You are born of God. Now you’re part of His family. You can take the Word of God and stop any unwanted, hereditary tendencies in your life.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can eat unhealthy foods all the time and expect to live healed and live long. Most sickness is self-induced by living wrong and eating wrong. There are natural and spiritual laws by which we are to live. It’s our responsibility to eat the right kind of food, exercise, rest—to make choices that will help us stay healthy.

God expects us to obey Him. Scripture tells us over and over to hearken to God’s voice and His Word. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” The margin of my Bible indicates the word health can be translated as “medicine.” God’s Word is medicine to your flesh. Not only that, this medicine affects everything in your life. It will cause your faith to rise up and receive.

Get into the Word—it’s essential to your life and health. Spend time there and find out what God is telling you to do. If He instructs you to make changes, know that they will always be for your benefit. Psalms 25:12-13 in The Living Bible says, “Where is the man who fears the Lord? God will teach him how to choose the best. He shall live within God’s circle of blessing….”

When you are obedient to walk in His ways, God surrounds you with blessings— healing, protection, favor, whatever you need.

Guard Your Heart

If symptoms linger, if our healing doesn’t readily manifest, Ken and I start checking to see if we are walking in love and obeying God. We ask ourselves if we are spending enough time in the Word of God for it to be made life and health to our flesh.

Proverbs 4:23 in The Amplified Bible warns, “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.” You “keep” your heart by keeping it full of the Word of God. That’s the most important thing you have to do in this life. You can’t live in divine health and keep your faith up without a steady diet of the life force of God, which is the Word of God.

The wisdom of God is written down for us in His Word. Revelation of the Word is precious because it takes care of everything in our life. It causes health and healing to come. It brings happiness, joy and peace—nothing missing, nothing broken. Walking in God’s wisdom is a key to living long and living well. Proverbs 3:13-18 says:

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

By spending time in the Word of God we can have so much life flowing out of us that sickness and disease can’t even get close to us.

Jesus teaches us that our commandment is to walk in love. We are to love God with all our heart and to love each other. You can’t live long and strong and be in strife, unforgiveness or other disobedience. When that happens the life flow is hindered. Disobedience also comes in the form of wrong words, traditions of men, anger, bitterness, grief, fear, envy and jealousy. All disobedience opens the door to the enemy and stops the life flow. These things can adversely affect our health and our ability to receive from God.

Disobedience opens the door to the effects of the curse in our lives, but obedience releases the blessings of God.

I’m convinced it would be possible to live to be 120 years old by obeying the Word of God. If you ate the way God said to eat and abstained from what He said to abstain from, you’d be well on your way to a strong, healthy body. Add to that a steady diet of the Word of God, allowing the life force of the Word to continually quicken (make alive) your mortal flesh. Then if you were faithful to obey the Word of God in every area of life, I believe you could live an active, productive life of 120 years or more.

When you walk with God, you can walk healed and live long. “And ye shall serve the Lord your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee…the number of thy days I will fulfill” (Exodus 23:25-26).

{Read Part 1}

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

 

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing

How to Endure the Hardship You Are Facing. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational blog

I speak to people every day in person and through the internet who are facing situations they do not feel they can endure. The problem is most of the time Christians seem shocked at the trials they face. Their most asked question is why?  You must understand when you face a trial (and you will) that you must keep focused on the end of your challenge, not on the challenge itself. Your joy will be complete, the book of James instructs you, as you overcome your situation. You must hold on to your faith and not doubt the promises God has already give you! You will have victory IF you do not give up!

James instructs us that genuine faith transforms lives. We are to put our faith into action when we are faced with a trial. It’s easy to say we have faith until the “rubber meets the road” so to speak. Then the truth comes out. James gave us great tools to help us  face our trials and tribulations head on. The book of James is our how-to book, or let’s say our 4 step program to obtaining victory!

Step 1: You must remain faithful to the end no matter how hard your trial is.

Our true character is revealed when pressure is applied. We must see each trial as an opportunity to grow into the person God wants us to be. How many times have you stood at an altar in prayer and said, “God use me, I want to be a vessel for you, change me God.” Then the minute a trial comes we are rebuking every devil within a mile, when all the time it is God doing exactly what you have asked for – He IS using you, He is using this trial to work in you things He needs. And He is working out of you things He does not need; so “you” don’t get in the way! Now before you are ready to stop reading hold on there is a  great reward when you choose not to give up during your difficult times – you will lack NOTHING in the end! (James 1:4).

Step 2: As you stand strong and endure you WILL become stronger instead of weaker.

James says you must remain positive (righteous) during difficult times; he says you must “Consider it wholly joyful” (James 1:2). As you begin to remain positive and focus on the end and not the wind from the storm around you, you will begin to gain strength (James 1:3).  Let’s face it trials are not fun and they are hard. But as we endure the trial we will become a stronger person. Athletes who only want to compete against the weaker opponents may win trophies, but they are not getting any better as an athlete. A strong opponent is what makes them stronger and do better. So as we remain faithful to the end we will be stronger and better when it is all over!

Step 3. You must seek God and godly wisdom.

By seeking God you will be given the ability to make right choices during these trials (James 1:5). Difficulties will come but when you are faced with them you must without a doubt expect God to guide you through all your situations (James 1:6-8). He has already given you in His Word every answer you need. You must take the time to seek out what He has given you and stand on it. You must use the Word of God to determine how you will react. Notice verse 6 “it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting).” This verse is talking about YOU! You must not waver, hesitate or doubt! You ask in faith and believe God WILL come through for you! Then you will be rewarded for maintaining your faith through your trial (James 1:12).

Step 4. Above all you ARE a conqueror through Christ Jesus! You are His prized possession and you will be given the strength to endure.

You are a gift from God through Jesus Christ. He keeps His promises and He wants you to enjoy life as you endure your difficulties (James 1:16-18). There are going to be trials and tribulations, temptations, and fear. But as we successfully overcome these adversities we become mature and of strong character. We must pray for wisdom as we endure. When we can finally embrace our human weakness and rely on God’s strength to overcome our trials and tribulations, God’s strength becomes our strength.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Is It True We Are What We Eat?

Are we what we eat?

With New Year’s resolutions nearly half way through the first month it is time to do an assessment of where we are. I know one of the top of everyone’s “To Do” is lose weight. We all know the old adage “you are what you eat.” I believe that is true in the natural but I totally believe that is true in our spirits as well. As we “eat” the Word of God every day we are feeding our spirits.

We all are made up of a soul which contains our minds, our will, and our emotions. Our souls live in our physical bodies and we are a spirit. Our spirit is who we are inside of our “coat” of a body. Our spirit is what will leave this earth when we die. Just as we feed our natural body for nourishment we must also feed our spirit. And whatever we are feeding our spirit is who we become; hence “you are what you eat.”

Think of this, over the course of this day how many times did you eat or drink? Now how many times did you eat of the Word of God or drink of Jesus’ living water? What does your physique look like in your spirit? Are you skinny, average, or fat on His Word?

Deuteronomy 11:18-25 instructs us to put His Words as signs before our eyes on the doorposts of our homes. There are several ways you can increase your amount of Word in your daily “diet.” You can download teachings and listen through the day, on  your commute, or your lunch break. You can write on index cards or sticky notes scriptures to put on your desk, in your car, on your mirror, and you computer. No matter how you get the Word of God in, just do it! Think of it as “grazing” all day long. Spend time praying throughout the day as well, acknowledging the presence of the Holy Spirit. He lives within you and He is trying to speak to you. So take the time each day to listen, pray, and feed on the Word of God.

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

You Have Authority So Use It!

How to use your authority of God. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational blogAs a believer you have been given the authority to speak and cause things to happen. However we must know the authority we have been given as Children of God and know how to walk in that authority.

So how do we know we have been given power and authority?
If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior then you are His representative in the earth. Do you get that – YOU ARE Jesus’ representative on this earth right now if you are a born again believer!

Colossians 1:13 says this “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” The word power is translated “authority.” So this is saying you and I have been delivered from the authority of darkness and placed into God’s kingdom. So this world and the enemy have no authority over us, we have been delivered from it! But we must know we have!

Jesus said in Matthew 28:18-19 “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore…”. That power was given to you and I as part of our inheritance in Christ Jesus. We have entered into this position of authority because we are in Him.

Jesus succeeded in securing all power by going to the cross, dying, rising again and defeating Satan in the pit of hell

He came to this earth as a man for one reason: to recapture the authority Satan had stolen through Adam’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

After Jesus secured that power and authority, Jesus freely gave it over into the hands of those who would believe on Him—you and I.

We must know and understand this power we have been given. Our words are to be words of faith and God expects us to know our authority, speak with our authority, and walk in our authority. It is not enough for us to simply accept the wonderful work Jesus did at Calvary. We are held responsible for much more.

In Mark 16:15-18 tells when Jesus appeared to His disciples after His resurrection from the dead. It was at that time that He delegated the authority to carry out this work. Jesus said: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”
This is a description of the authority Jesus has given to us!

My question is how do you see yourself?

God sees you in Christ, in His image.
Romans 8:29 tells us God predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God sees you and I through the blood of the covenant. On the inside, we are the image of Jesus. As born-again believers, we have authority and we are in His image.

I want you to spend the next week meditating on the fact that when God looks at you, He sees Jesus! This will give you an inner image so you can begin to see yourself as God sees you!

You must know AND accept the authority you have been given so you will be able to go to the throne of grace boldly as Hebrews 4:16 says you can. You have permission and authority to go to God’s throne BOLDLY and ask!

If you do not know what you have -how do you take it? Remember God is looking at you through the blood covenant. He looks at the inside of a man – upon the heart. This is not the blood pumping heart; this is the spirit of a man. And when our spirit has been recreated by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior God sees you in Christ, in His image. We must begin seeing ourselves as God sees us – in Christ, having authority – and we need to start walking in that authority!

Let’s say your father was a multi millionaire and you are homeless. You father dies and leaves you all of his fortune but you live out your life on the streets struggling because you never knew what was rightly yours!

That is where the devil wants us. We have a Heavenly Father and a Savior who gave us power and authority and He wants us to use this power and authority now in this earth to take back from the devil what He has stolen from us.

What has been stolen from you? Health, finances, relationships, peace, joy? Everything the devil has stolen from you, you have a right to, but it is YOUR responsibility to take authority over the enemy and not allow him to steal from you!

Ephesians 1:21-23 tells us All things are under Jesus’ feet. As part of the body of Christ, all things are under your feet, too. But you have to know that and say it and stand on it for it to happen! The same spiritual qualities and the same authority inside Jesus are inside you.

Ephesians 1:3 says you have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings because you are seated with Him in heavenly places. The word blessed is not just a weak, religious statement we say – “oh I am blessed.” To be God-blessed means you are empowered by Almighty God Himself to prosper and succeed. It means you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to be exceedingly happy with life and joy in spite of any circumstances.

Ephesians 2:6 says In Christ you have been raised to the same high place of authority where Jesus sits. He is sitting at the right hand of God!

1 John 4:17 tells you, you are His image expressed to this world. Listen to what it says “In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.” You and I as children of God are like Jesus!!!

Jesus is not sick, he is not in poverty, he does not have fear, and he is not under pressure, His relationships are not falling apart. His authority, His Name, His position with God- all that has already been given to you and I.

Prayer becomes so uncomplicated when you know who you are in Christ and the authority you have been given because you see yourself as God sees you.

You will know your power and authority, you will know what the Word of God says is yours -now on this earth! Not later, why would we need it later? In Heaven everything is perfect so we don’t need it then; we need it now on this earth!

We have been given Authority in the Name of Jesus
Philippians 2:9-10 says the power behind the Name of Jesus is the power of Almighty God. When you speak the Name of Jesus the power that comes out of your mouth is the power of Almighty God Himself!

John 16:23 what we ask in His Name it is given to us!
The Name of Jesus is still as powerful today as it was when Peter spoke it to the crippled man in Acts 3:1-8!

This Name; the Name of Jesus is a weapon to use to enforce Satan’s defeat. Satan was already defeated by Jesus, Satan knows that. But he is hoping to keep you so confused, fearful, sick, broke, hurt emotionally so that YOU won’t know the power and authority you have! He wants you to look at your circumstance and not trust the Word of God!

He wants to keep you from reading the Bible for yourself because when you do- you are going to learn that there are things promised to you that you were unaware you can have here on this earth!

We must know and understand:

1. Jesus’ Name can do anything He can do. And He is totally unlimited.

2. Revelation 19:13 All the authority of God’s Word is in that Name, the Name of Jesus, and it is yours to use as a new creation in Him!

3. You and I represent Jesus! We can walk in authority in His Name because we are His representatives.

4. You must see yourself in Christ, as part of His Body, with everything under your feet. Instead of ignoring problems, YOU must rise up in your authority and conquer them with the authority He has given you.

5. We are to stand in His victory, use the Word of God to fight the good fight of faith. When you speak the Word in faith, it is the same power as if Almighty God Himself said it, and circumstances will have to come in line.

Do you see that? The power that is in the word of God, and the power and authority you have been given to speak it, is as if God Himself was speaking it, so use the Word of God with faith and authority over your situation. Use the Name of Jesus you have been given to take back what the devil has stolen from you!

Whatever the situation is right now you are in -there is a scripture that covers it. Find it, study the Word and see what has already been promised to you.

Do not wait for your pastor or someone else to read it and tell you what your promises are, read for yourself. If you are just relying on others to tell you what you are promised in the Word – I can tell you, that you are missing out on a lot you have been entitled to, just like the homeless person who did not know they were a multi-millionaire – you have promises in the Word that are yours for the taking, you can have them as you walk in the authority given to you by Jesus himself!

{Want to know how to declare God’s Word over your life and get results? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole From Me!}

NO MATTER WHO WINS

Sandra Hersey A Christian Inspirational Blog

One of the things I notice about people is competitiveness among them. Even children of God do not seem exempt from this. Though competition is not harmful and can be good for us, we can let it lead to jealousy when another seems to do better than we are doing and we tend to forget we are to walk in love and be encouragers of others.

We are all created for different works and even though we do not all do our work for Christ the same way, we are all still doing what God created us to do. We are different parts of one body; the body of Christ. The eye does not do the foots job. The ear does not do the hands job. Just this morning I was explaining to my daughter that we are all individuals who are created for a purpose, but together we all are to do our jobs differently. Even though I am a Bible Teacher, I may not teach the same way someone else does. Is anyone wrong as long as they are teaching the Word of God? If methods and deliveries are different is one better than the other? No, we are gifted by God to do His will so we can each reach someone the other may not be able to reach.  We are all one body working TOGETHER! We need to understand that no matter who “wins” God wins and He is still in control.

Here is a great list I found of a great mindset about worrying who is doing better or who is the winner.

No Matter Who Wins……

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost.

{Author Unknown}

ISN’T  IT GREAT TO  KNOW WHO  IS STILL  IN  CONTROL?

It Is Closer Than You Think!

Do not give up it is closer than you think!

Many times we stand on a promise from God and find ourselves in a situation where we are beginning to wane just before our promise comes to pass. In times of financial lack we often wonder when will it ever end. When we are waiting for a loved one to come to the Lord we often do not see the promise looking any closer to becoming a reality. Even if we are standing on the Word of God for our healing the symptoms and doctors reports can tend to shout out louder than our faith.

Often we can find ourselves getting discouraged and this is where we must be careful because this is where we can begin to start settling for where we are; accepting our bank balance, accepting the state of our loved one, or accepting the fact that we may never be healed. This is when we most need to pay attention. When we start to see seeds of doubt creep in, that should be a sure sign to us that breakthrough is just about to happen. This is not the time to give up and back down, this is when we must stand firm and dig in {Ephesians 6:13!}

We have all heard the saying it is always darkest just before the dawn. These immortal words inform us there is hope even in the worst circumstances, that when things are extremely bad, it may be a signal that they are about to get much better! We must not give up too soon, we must realize when we are at this point we must press on {2 Timothy 4:7}! Our victorious breakthrough may be only a few hours, a few days, or a few weeks away.

What if it was only one more year before your breakthrough happened, would it be worth it! Could you hold on for one more year? You are so close; you are right on the verge of God stepping in and doing an “and suddenly” in your life! This is the time you need to hang onto the Word of God even more and know that God is telling you, you are closer than you think! You are so close to your victory!

Hebrews 10:35 so glorious tells us “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.”

If we will just keep standing on the Word of God and the promises it gives us of supplying our every need {Philippians 4:19}, of our house serving the Lord {Joshua 24:15}, and the fact that we have already been healed by the stripes Jesus took on His back for us {Isaiah 53:5}! We must know God tells us if we keep believing there WILL be a reward!

When we are tempted to get down and give up we must realize at that point we must not give up or give in! We must press on and know that as we do not throw away the confidence in the Lord He will reward us with what we are believing and standing on! The Bible is for us, all the promises in it belong to us, we must find the one for our situation and stand on it! Keep believing knowing our reward is on it way! It is closer than we think!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Finishing Well

Philippians 1:12-14

We have all sang the songs about following Jesus no matter what. The songs that say “Father mold me, change me,” however when we are walking in times of trials and testings we seem to have forgotten that we are called to run the race; we seem to begin well – but finish poorly. Today I am going to share with you critical characteristics to finishing well by Ken Boa!

Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. Does our desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations? A key secret of those who finish well is to focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin. The more we love Jesus, the more we will learn to put our confidence in Him alone.

Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fellowship, study, worship, and submission are not ends in themselves, but means to the end of intimacy with Christ and spiritual formation.

Part of the purpose of our suffering and trials is to drive us to dependence on God alone. God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so we will be more fully united to Christ.

Those who finish well maintain an ongoing learning posture through the seasons of their lives. Humility and responsive obedience are the keys to maintaining a teachable spirit.
Humility is the disposition in which we displace self through the enthronement of Christ in our lives and realize that all of life is about trust in God. Obedience is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet. As we mature in Christ, we learn to trust God’s character and promises in spite of ambiguity or trials.

God has called each of us to a purposeful journey sustained by faithfulness and growing hope. This calling or vocation transcends our occupations and endures beyond the end of our careers. As we seek the Lord’s guidance in developing a personal vision and clarity of mission, we move beyond the level of tasks and accomplishments to the level of the purpose for which we were created.

Relationships such as spiritual mentoring, servant leadership, and personal and group accountability are valuable resources that encourage, equip, and exhort. People who finish well do not do so without the caring support of other growing members of the body of Christ. These relationships help us to increase in intimacy with Christ, maintain the needed disciplines, clarify our long-term perspective, sustain a teachable attitude, and develop our purpose and calling.

Spirit-filled living requires us to discover and develop the spiritual gifts we have received and exercise them through the Spirit’s power for the edification of others. Believers who finish well are marked by ongoing outreach and sacrificial ministry for the good of other people. Those who squander the resources, gifts, experiences, and hard-learned insights God has given them by no longer investing them in the lives of others soon wither and withdraw.

What does it take to finish well? How can we run in such a way that we can say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7; Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27)?Taking to heart the above seven characteristics will help you finish well day by day, as you “run with endurance the race that is set before [you]” (Hebrews 12:1).