A finisher mindset ∙
I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – Philippians 1:6
28 But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?
29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.
30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
How often do we set goals and then not accomplish them? It is typical to start strong with lofty aspirations but not finish. Developing a finisher mindset does not come naturally for many people. But a finisher mindset enables you to follow through and finish what you start.
There are many tips and tricks and step-by-step that can help. For example, begin with a clearly defined end goal. But then break the project down into small manageable pieces. Each piece should be easy to accomplish. Trying to achieve too much at once can be overwhelming. It often leads to procrastination and failure.
Finishers start small. It may sound paradoxical, but it works.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” (Lao Tzu).
That is exactly what the Father is doing in the lives of children of the King. The Father has an end-goal for each of us. He begins taking small steps in the life of each of His children towards that goal. He has promised to continue His work until it is finally finished. The Father finishes what He starts.
Knowing the Father, His character and faithfulness engender confidence. When the Father promises and commits to a plan of action for the children of the King, we can be assured that He will do what He intends to do. The Father has the ultimate finisher mindset. You can take that to the bank. Settled confidence opens the door to optimism for the future. Optimism blossoms into joy.
When confidence, optimism, and joy are absent, what is left? Humdrum tedium, life as usual which is often accompanied by anguish and despondency. “The opposite of joy is not gloom but despair, the incapacity to trust in any new and good future. Paul rejoices because he is ‘confident’ of what God’s future holds” (Garland).
REFLECT & PRAY
We all long for someone we can trust and who has our very best interest at heart.
Father thank You for the work of redemption You have begun in my heart and that You promised to finish what you started.
The gospel heard, understood, and received has the potential to change everything. In the beginning, His spiritual newborns know very little of the Father and His ways. His gentle touch and the caress of His loving hands begin to let us know how special we are to Him. Incredible warmth and tenderness are now ours. The bonding begins. We have entered into a long-term relationship with Him.
The Father did not merely call us His children, we became His children. He adopted us into His forever family.
What began in time, continues into eternity. The Philippians accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. This inaugurated a “fellowship of the gospel” (Hughes). What the Father has begun in them will reach a glorious consummation when the Lord Jesus Christ returns.
Paul wrote the book of Philippians not while he was vacationing on a lovely Mediterranean island, but while he was in prison in Rome. Certain death was just around the corner. But remarkably Paul’s words overflow with joy. How did he do it? It’s all about perspective and focus.
Despite the negative circumstances, Paul knows that the Father is in control and working out His eternal plan. He was totally certain that what He had begun, He would complete. He would accomplish His work. Paul’s confidence had nothing to do with the circumstances. The Father did not make a mistake leading Paul to share the gospel message. Paul’s message launched the Philippians on a journey that would take them exactly where the Father wanted them to go. The same is true of all children of the King through the millennia.
From our limited earthly perspective, without divine revelation, we would be left ignorant of how things really are. Paul enlightens us. He sets the record straight and provides the Father’s perspective. When we see things as the Father sees them, we come face-to-face with very difficult challenges.
He asks us to recognize the inadequacies of our limited perspective. Much of the old must be discarded and replaced with the new. The Father seeks that all children of the King discard wrong thinking. Inadequate reasoning and partial truth are to be discarded. He offers a whole new way of thinking. Our minds and spirits are transformed (Romans 12:2).
21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him,
22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception.
23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
There is always more to walking with God Than what we’ve known, seen, learned, or experienced (Stanley).
Philippians 1:6 I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
The Father’s intentions for us were settled before the foundation of the world. But He burst into the space-time continuum of our lives at the moment of our salvation. He who is eternal and transcendent irrupted into history and began a new work within each child of the King.
He will continue His good work in us until we become like His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). The Greek word translated certain or persuaded is peitho. Peitho means to be persuaded, to be certain, to be confident, to be assured, or to trust. In Greek, it is a perfect participle. A Greek perfect participle signifies an action that begins in the past with results that continue into the present.
Paul worked through these difficult issues years before. He had privy to the amazing personal contact with the Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:15-18). Undoubtedly, Paul, the intellectually gifted and highly trained theologian, asked lots of deep and probing questions. He got answers. The answers satisfied his intellect and his heart. He was totally and absolutely convinced. But then he had to calculate the cost of such a radical perspective transformation. He was “all in” (Philippians 3:4-14)!
Despite possible discouragement from setbacks and a keen awareness of how far we have to go, we never have to surrender to total defeat. Rather, the Father persuades and encourages us that He will keep right on working until the day we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is (1 John 3:2).
“On the day when Christ comes, it will be like the coming of a King. On such a day, the King’s subjects are required to present him with gifts to mark their loyalty and to show their love. The only gift Jesus Christ desires from us is ourselves” (Barclay).
That is a gift we are to give Him today and every day.