Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit, a new podcast from Charisma. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Notice that Jesus is the Finisher. He always finishes what He starts—and He wants us to finish the God-inspired initiatives we start, too.
To be sure, one of the keys of the kingdom is the “key of finishing.” It unlocks the blessing of increase and is a clear manifestation of kingship.
Jesus is our example. Jesus was always concerned about finishing the work His Father sent Him to do. He saw the blessing on the other side of finishing. He had His eyes on the prize—the blessing—that came after He finished.
We see in John 5:36 that Jesus had certain works to finish, and God was counting on Him to finish those works: “But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.”
Jesus told His disciples to follow His example and explained the importance of finishing in Luke 14:27-30: “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’?”
Before we rush out into a new project with high emotion, we need to be sure the Spirit of God is leading us—and we need to be prepared to pay the price to finish. Failing to finish can lead to unpleasant consequences, even if it’s only disappointment in yourself. That disappointment can cause you to lose confidence. Christ wants us to be confident in Him working through us. As kings and priests unto God, we need to finish what we start—even if we are persecuted along the way—and we need to depend in Christ to partner with us to get the job done. He is able, and He is faithful.
Never let persecution cause you not to finish a thing. That’s just what the devil wants, which is a strong reason why he launches an attack. Jesus was persecuted, but He finished anyway. He finished even to the point of death. And when it was finished, He announced it: “When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit” (John 19:30). Jesus didn’t quit until the end. And when it was finished, He soon rose back up to complete His next assignment: sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. Praise Jesus!
Think about it for a minute. If Jesus had not finished, then all the stripes He took, all the shame He faced, all the pain He endured, would have been for nothing. Without that final act of finishing, the sin of the world would not be atoned for. He had to completely finish the task so that all of mankind could be restored to kingship and blessed with eternal life.
Jesus said He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22). He expects us to finish the work God has given us. It brings Him glory when we finish. Yes, we may also have to press through pain to finish a God-given assignment. When that’s the case, we need to keep our eyes on the prize. Ultimately, the key of finishing requires Christ-like character, specifically endurance, focus and discipline.
Jesus and Paul offer us some examples of how to work the key of finishing.
Jesus wasn’t concerned about food and drink, He was concerned about finishing the work His Father had sent Him to do. John 4:33-34 says, “Therefore the disciples said to one another, ‘Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.’”
Paul knew that bonds and afflictions awaited him, yet he said, “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).
In terms of projects we start, there is rarely any danger to our lives like Jesus, Paul or even many in the persecuted Curch face today. The only danger, really, is to our “self.” Our emotions will help us to start a new project because it’s exciting. But our emotions won’t carry us through to the end when the work gets hard and the resistance comes. That’s when we need discipline and endurance and focus.
We’re often tempted to give up, even when there is a tremendous financial blessing on the other end. The enemy likes to stop things that are new and he likes to keep us from finishing. He’ll let us wander around in the middle for a while, making some progress, but he doesn’t want us to finish because he understands the result of finishing: increase.
Finishing unlocks a blessing. Paul endured. He told Timothy to endure. "You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier" (2 Tim. 1-4).
Jesus blessed us when He finished the work on the cross. He also got blessed. In fact, He expected a blessing. John 17:4-5 says, “I have glorified You on the 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 which I had with You before the world was.”
We can expect a blessing, too—when we finish the work. When God finished creating the heavens and earth, he blessed the seventh day as a day of rest (Genesis 2:2-3). When we finish a task, we enter into a certain contentment and rest.
Paul told Timothy that he fought a good fight, finished his course and kept the faith—and we know he received his reward: “Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 2:8).
What about you? As this year comes to an end, why not take an inventory of those things large and small that you need to finish. You may have several projects at various stages of progress. You can’t tap into the increase until you finish. My prayer is that God will give you the grace to press in and use the key of finishing to unlock the blessings that await you.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!
NEW from CHARISMA: Do you want to encounter the Holy Spirit and hear God speak to you? Increase your faith, discover freedom, and draw near to God! Click Here