Adrian Rogers once said, “The greatest ambition of my life is to finish well.” In his words, he reflected the attitude in Jesus’ life. When Jesus entered earth, He came with a mission. In the midst of all that was imperfect, there was something God entrusted Jesus to finish during His time on earth. No matter what was going on around Him and no matter what people were doing to hurt Him, Jesus stayed focused on His mission.
This season, I wonder what is the greatest ambition of your life? What has God entrusted you to finish?
As I wrestled with this question, I saw the many hats we wear and how God entrusts us with different roles in our families, in our workplace, and in our communities? The idea is not to be fragmented. God’s freedom is when we stay focused on His greater purpose and transition with Him from the manger to serving the world. May I share with you the truths God taught me for my life?
In Luke 2:42-50, we read about Jesus at the age of 12: When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he was saying to them. NIV
Realize that although God may have put us in a specific biological family, there comes a time when God weans us of our role to our biological family and transitions us into a greater purpose that impacts more than those in our nuclear family. Observe too that when this transition took place in Jesus’ life, Mary and Joseph “did not understand what he was saying to them.” In the same way, those around us will not understand when we begin stepping into our God designed purpose in our community.
The need to transition is reiterated once again when Jesus began His work in the community at the age of 30. While He was serving the people, His family came searching for Him. Those around Jesus expected Him to drop everything to respond to the needs of His family. Instead, in Matt 12:48-50, Jesus said, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” NIV. In these words, Jesus shows us by example how He was sure of God’s calling on His life and that His world was bigger than the people He grew up with. He stood His ground. Did you know that unless you are sure of your uniqueness and what God has designed you to finish in your community, you will live in an emotional roller coaster of what others think you should be doing with your life?
In fulfilling God’s calling on His life, Jesus remained sensitive to the needs of His family. However, He did not jettison His calling because of their emotional needs. He did not allow their needs to keep Him from finishing His work. John 19:26-27 reads, “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. NIV. Observe that although Jesus had the power to come off the cross to comfort His mother, He stayed on the cross. Though he responded the way He could, He did not allow His mother’s grief to change His mission. A few verses later, John 19:30 reads, “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” NIV
In the same way Jesus came to earth to begin His journey to finish what God entrusted to Him, will we make a commitment to God to finish the reason He created us? Is there something you need to do in your family to turn their focus outwards to reach those around them? Is there something you need to change in your workplace to empower the organization to finish the reason why it was created in the first place? Is there something you need to do in your ministry to stay on track and not allow distractions and unexpected events to veer you off course? This season, I pray that we will learn from Jesus that with the birth of every dream and every new beginning is also the birth of a mission that God wants us to finish. You may not be able to change decisions that were made in the past but you can change decisions you will make today and for the future. I pray that the greatest ambition of our lives will be to finish well!!!
I pray this devotion encouraged you in a special way. When I pray for you, I “hear” a victory song. I believe in you because I believe in the power of God’s Word revealed in you as you put His Word into action.
Love from Anita Carman