Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Give It Your All

You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? (Galatians 5:7 NLT)

The Bible is an honest book. It gives us its heroes, warts and all. It tells us the truth so that we can find hope and comfort from people just like us.

Just think of some of the individuals in the Bible who had so much potential but self-destructed in the end. Take Saul, for example. God had anointed him as the first king of Israel. God’s Spirit came upon Saul, the Bible tells us, and he prophesied.

King Saul had tremendous potential to do good things for his nation. But he disobeyed God and allowed pride and paranoia to destroy him, and he met a tragic end on the battlefield. Ultimately Saul had no one to blame but himself. He had everything he needed to make a difference, but he threw it away.

Then there was Samson, whom God had blessed with superhuman strength. He was able to vanquish his enemies with relative ease, yet he squandered his potential in continual compromise, culminating in his own death.

Samson had his moments of greatness, his moments when God worked through him. But it was Samson’s fault that he never fully realized his potential.

Gideon came from humble origins, but God chose him to lead the children of Israel into battle. God used him mightily to vanquish Israel’s enemies. But in the end, Gideon lowered his standards, and he fell into immorality and pride. His beginnings were good. He had his great moments. But everything came crashing down in the end.

Lifted like Gideon from humble origins, King David became beloved of God as the man after His own heart (see 1 Samuel 13:14). He was a good king, and God did use him. But like his persecutor Saul, David also played the fool and almost threw his entire life away. And to some degree, he undid some of the great good he had done.

Fortunately, in the end, David came to his senses. He repented, and God restored him. But it was not without facing the continual repercussions of sin in his own life. Here was someone who started well, who faltered and was almost destroyed, and in the last moment, he began walking with God again. Yet he still paid a price for it.

These people started out with great potential, but they didn’t all find their way across the finish line. Maybe you can relate to them. Maybe you’ve been sidetracked. Maybe there was a time when you had an intense commitment to Jesus Christ, but other things have begun to crowd Him out. It isn’t too late. Don’t let your life be wasted.

Maybe as you look at your spiritual life today, you realize that you’re not doing well. You realize that you’re easing up and slowing down. Or maybe you’ve even walked off the track, so to speak.

Now is the time to get back into the race and give it your all so that one day, you won’t wake up and realize that you’ve wasted the resources and potential God has given you.

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