The Finished Line (2)
In 2 Kings 20:1, the Bible says: “In those days, Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz went to him and said: “This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.” Here, we saw God telling Hezekiah that he should tidy up, for He was taking him home. In most cases, God will not give everybody the opportunity to do this. Therefore, we should realise that every minute, we are approaching the finishing line. In 1Corinthians 9:24 the Bible also says: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” So, run in such a way that you will receive the prize. It is not getting to the end that matters, but running to receive a prize as the best runner.
For you to win and obtain the prize, there are seven ‘do’s’ and one ‘don’ts.’
The only ‘don’t’ is that, if you don’t want to be a loser in this race; always get up immediately you fall. Falling is not a crime, but failing to get up. Micah 7:8: “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” Look back and find out why you fell so that you will not fall again. If God has given you a second chance, try and learn a lesson from it and move forward. The fact that you are a Christian does not mean you cannot fall. In fact, the Bible confirms this in Proverbs 24:16, when it says “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity.” Jesus knew before hand that Peter would deny Him and He was ready to forgive him. It takes some time for people to become matured Christians. Salvation is instant, but attaining maturity is a life-long exercise, so do not stay down, always get up when you fall.
These are the ‘Dos.’
• Be quick to confess your sins. If you are in sin you cannot walk with God. Psalm 34:15 say: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry.” God always responds to a repentant heart and so, He will meet you at your lowest point and walk with you through the valley.
• Once you are free, stay free. When God delivers you from something harmful, He will attach you to something healthful; endure the pain and fire, so that you can be purified.
• Make sure you forgive an offence. Jesus commanded us to forgive others their wrong so that we, too, can be forgiven by God, Matthew 6:14-15. Forgiving others is not an option, but an order.
• Cut off from all unwise relationships. When you associate with bad people, your life will be corrupted. In 1Corinthians 15:33, the Bible says: “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.” Whoever does not increase will eventually decrease. Any increase without holiness will not give you peace. Any unwise relationship will not allow you to finish well in life. Be selective, associate with those that are living a holy life and whom you can benefit from spiritually.
Pastor Ogunorunyinka is the General Overseer, The Promisedland Restoration Ministries, Surulere, Lagos. email@example.com