Miscellaneous

Flashback Friday: Start and Finish!

Ladies, enjoy this flashback. This EmpowerMoment was originally published on March 31, 2012. 

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24 NIV)

If you are in a season of “I can’t hear God” or “He’s not speaking”, this EmpowerMoment will be yelling at you by the time you finish reading it. God speaks to us through His Word, prayer, silence, circumstances, situations, and people. On last week God’s voice came through an unexpected source. (I’m a firm believer that God speaks to us and that His voice is always available.)  He spoke clearly to me through my husband. I must admit, sometimes it’s very hard for me to receive a word from him, and easier for me to receive from God through other sources and people.

I was at home taking care of my 11-month-old and a business idea came to my mind. I was busy changing a diaper, minding my own business, and not in need of a business idea. The idea began to get my energy, time, and creativeness. This was not my first time of getting a “great idea” to start a business. In fact, I have a few business ideas and plans saved in the memory of my computer. However, I began to planning the business in my mind. The concept, where it was going to be, and who was going to help. In Lisa’s world I was so excited! I kept getting another idea after another that I forgot I had chores to do, people to call, and a couple of errands to run.

My husband arrived home (from an 11 hour work day walked in the door and had a puzzled look on his face. Why? Because what I should have started and finished (washed, cooked, went grocery shopping, and made a couple of important phone calls) was not started or finished. Instead, all day I busy was planning this new and “great business idea”. I ignored his side eye and body language that clearly communicated he was upset. I was so excited about this new and exciting idea I had. Before, he could say anything I began to voice to him with so much enthusiasm the “great idea”. After I finished I politely asked, “So baby what do you think?” I just knew that he too was going to be excited, but I was wrong. He said so raw and graciously, “Lisa you have so many unfinished business ideas already; why add to them? You should have first finished what you had the time to do today and then worked on the business idea because it’s dinner time and what’s for dinner?” I was shocked! I wanted to say, “Hold up buddy”, but before I could respond the Holy Spirit said, “Go and get dinner prepared.”

Later that night as everyone was asleep, I began to think about what was said to me. It’s true I have so many things that I start and don’t finish. I am notorious for that. I begin a goal or “great idea” with such zeal and determination. Then comes along another great idea and I stop the initial one to begin the new thing, with the same zeal and excitement. You can pretty much guess what happens next. I start something and don’t finish it. You too may have this same condition or challenge of being a non-finisher. Not finishing things or ‘filling’ the time that you have instead of ‘fulfilling’ your time are both internal problems that the Word of God addresses and heals. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 Paul addresses a church about an unfinished giving situation. You see they began with zeal and excitement while giving generously to the work of God, only to not finish the same way.

Our greatest example of someone who was a master at starting something and finishing it was Jesus. In fact, He only did and said what the Father told Him. He was so radical to the point that He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34 NIV) Now that’s radical! Furthermore, God says, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building.” (Zech 8:9 NLT) See, all I needed was to see that finishing is of God, and it is in His word. These scriptures hold words with astounding truth and are the TRUTH. We must finish our task at hand!

We must not allow ourselves to become captive to the condition of being a “non-finisher”. It doesn’t matter what my great idea plan or project is; what matters is that I do what God has planned for me and finish it. Whatever I start would be of no value anyway if He has not planned for me to do it, especially if it’s unfinished. Perhaps you too may have the same challenge of not being able to finish what you started. Maybe for you it’s a GED, degree, Bible study, joining a church, starting a resource center, changing your eating habits, or joining a gym. You could fill-in the blank for yourself. The problem that is inherent with not finishing what you start is it causes you to become busy doing nothing, wasting time that never returns back to you, and never finishing what you need to. This was a very sad fact that was happening a lot in my life and until my husband let God speak through him, I was not on the path of reaching my full potential in Christ.  I was not going to accomplish what I was capable of doing.  I had to stop jumping from this to that, starting and not finishing.

If you have the same challenge as I do know that with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit we can be like Jesus and Paul finish what we start!

Dear Daddy,

Forgive us for those things that we started and did not finish, especially those things that are a part of Your divine will for our lives. We ask that no matter how we started, restore to us Your Divine will, purposes, and plans for our lives so that we like Jesus and Paul can say,”that we finished and finished well!” We thank You for all of Your plans. Now that we see Your Word declares that it is possible to finish, we ask that You, through the Holy Spirit, would give us the ability to finish whatever our hands will find themselves doing and that we will yield results! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to plan and spend time with the Father today. Ask Him what His plans are and what is ‘unfinished’ that He needs you to finish. Take record of what ‘unfinished’ things you have and pray over them. Is it a degree, business idea, or a follow-up to a needed doctor’s appointment? I EMPOWER you to FINISH with results, and know that He who started a good work within you will finish!

Question: What are some things you started that you wished you would’ve finished or some things that you finished that wished you would’ve never started? Share with us on Facebook orTwitter!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: The Spirit of a Finisher

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Mrs. Lisa M. Purnell-Marshall is happily married to the wonderful and inspiring Antoine L. Marshall. She is the proud mother of two gorgeous girls. Her voice is one of the leading and authentic voices for breast-feeding, especially for the African-American community and Generation Y. She currently works inside of her home and plans to become a professional licensed lactation consultant in 2014. She and her family are members at Spirit of Liberty Church located in Markham, IL.  Embracing the love that God has for her, Lisa labors to live an acceptable and pure life through the leading and keeping of the Holy Spirit so that her attitude, words, and actions attract the glory of God. In her free time she loves receiving manis and pedis. Her favorite promises that she find comfort and reassurance in are: Psalm34:19: “A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” and Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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