“Finishing strong is not only a matter of how you run, but IF you finish.” Pastor Mary said as she stood in the Name of the Lord.
This was after a steamy session of praise and worship led by Brother Adino, with Mrs Itachomi and Sister Favour on back up. A praise leader is indeed a praise leader! He was dripping with rivers of sweat at the end of the praise session which left everyone basking in the glory of the Lord.
“God is not looking for runners,” Pastor Mary continued, “neither is He looking for the fastest runners. He is looking for finishers!”
She told the story of the race between the hare and the tortoise, whom no one thought would win. But overconfidence made the hare loose the race. She encouraged that we should not be full of ourselves but to be filled with Christ; like Saul who fell from himself and rose filled with Christ.
As in the first day, she pointed three things from Philippians 3.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 3:13-14 (KJV)
(1) Forgetting the past. We should not allow the situations of the past: what we suffered, achieved, lost etcetera, to stop us from finishing our race.
(2) Striving forward. With God the Holy Spirit in us, we should reach, strain, and strive to reach the end of the race, even if it takes all our strength. This, she said, is a mark of Christian maturity; that God wants for us to keep moving, growing up spiritually.
(3) Press on. We should know that the enemy is out to hinder our finishing the race. That he would throw many obstacles on our “lane” in his bid to stop us. We are not to be ignorant of this because many have made a shipwreck of their race due to ignorance. This she said, will help us keep our faith.
Further, she reminded us of King Joash (2 Chron. 24), who started his race well, raised up in the house of God but did not finish strong.
Being in a race, we should be unique, minding our race and not follow the crowd.