The Bible is filled with the stories of so many people who had tremendous potential but crashed and burned in the spiritual race. There was King Saul, the namesake of Saul who later became the apostle Paul. King Saul was handsome, tall, brave, and anointed by God to be the king of Israel. He even prophesied. Saul had incredible potential, but he disobeyed God repeatedly. He allowed pride into his life, giving way to paranoia and jealousy, which ultimately consumed him. He met a tragic end on the battlefield. What a wasted life.
Then there was Samson. Talk about power. He had an incredible ability to vanquish his enemies. He would kill them left and right on the battlefield. On one occasion Samson killed a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Yet Samson went down in flames. Because he played around with sin, sin ultimately played around with him, and it culminated in his own death.
There was Gideon, who had such humble beginnings and was mightily used by God to defeat his enemies. But as Gideon’s life came to an end, he lowered his standards and fell into immorality and pride.
All of these men started well, but they didn’t finish well. They ran fast in the beginning, but they didn’t get across the finish line as they should have.
The apostle Paul, however, wanted to be in the company of those who finished the race, joining the ranks of those who did so in God’s winners’ circle—men like Caleb and Joshua who finished well. He said, “I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7 NLT).
If your life were to end today, would you be able to say, like Paul, “I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful”?