I’m glad that the words, “It is finished!” Came out of Jesus mouth, not “I am finished.” I’m all in for small beginnings, incremental progress, and making bold moves, but there’s a valley full of corpses that lies between the two peaks of every creative project.
The beginning of a thing.
And the completion.
Between the two a blood drenched chasm where many a creative has given up the ghost and let their dream idea gasp its final breath.
Just as the Scriptures encourage us not to despise beginnings, however inauspicious they may feel, the Holy Ghost also makes mention of the other factor in that equation.
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” (Ecclesiastes 7:8 KJV)
Better to be a finisher than just a starter.
Here are 3 keys that will help you do that!
Hey there. Hopefully all is well in your household in the midst of these odd times, a few days ago I spoke about not despising small beginnings. Today, I want to kind of jump over onto the other side of that kind of success equation and talk about actually being a finisher. You know, it’s so important that we aren’t just good beginners, good starters, but we’re actually good finishes that we bring to completion the things that we set our heart and our mind to.
So, so, so, so important. You know, isn’t it isn’t it a relief? Yeah. Isn’t it a relief that when Jesus was on the cross there, he said it is finished, not I am finished. You know, thank God that those were the words that came out of his mouth, that it is finished not I am finished. You know, I do really believe in making bold moves. I believe in incremental progress. I believe that we should rejoice and be engaged in the reality that small beginnings are not something to be ashamed of.
Small beginnings are not something that we should despise. But really, there is this there’s this incredibly wide valley, okay, between these two peaks, starting a thing and completing a thing. And in that valley there are like an absolute host of corpses, dead ideas, dead projects, dead hope’s dead dreams, where people have begun with passion. People have begun with with vision and desire. But that journey from beginning to end has left them fairly bruised and beaten up.
And there’s many an idea that actually ends up laid to rest in that valley between beginning and ending. You know, there’s a great scripture I always bring will always want to bring things back to the word of God, because that’s really where the strength comes from. You know, God’s word gives us nourishment. That carries us from beginning to end. That takes us to completion. He is at work within us to complete the good work that he began.
And as this scripture in Ecclesiastes seven, verse eight, that again is just a really powerful one. It says better is the end of a thing and then the beginning thereof. And the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. You know, I work a lot with entrepreneurs. I work a lot with Christian creatives, authors, artists, and being an entrepreneur myself, being a kind of of a nature that enjoys starting things. I enjoy new things.
We enjoy that the novelty, the creativity, the curiosity that is stirred at the beginning of a project. There’s something about that pioneering spirit that just makes us that kind of light the candle on the inside. Ask us then to actually enter into the maintenance of that, ask us to continue day after mundane day toward the fulfilment of what we started. And that’s a very different sometimes our heart responds very differently to that. And I think that that’s why you hear the Holy Ghost tells us, you know, there’s something about finishing, there’s something about bringing and bringing a project, bringing an idea, bringing something that we’ve set our heart on to completion that is so, so pleasing.
And, you know, we really do need to be finishes, not just starters. You know, how many of you have got, like a host of books that you’ve started reading? Certainly many that people have started writing, but they’ve no they’ve never been brought to completion. We’d never taken it to the to the finished post. And, of course, is that we’ve sometimes spent hundreds of dollars on and we’ve watched the first three or four videos.
You know, we’ve never actually taken the time to consume what we’ve invested in. And then actually, even more importantly, apply what we’ve learnt. You know what? I’m going to share a two or three keys in this short time together as to how you can actually become a good finisher, not just a great start, but a good finish of the things that you set your heart and mind to, particularly thinking really in creative projects. I realised that there are kind of these massive things that sometimes we take and try to chew.
I’m talking about the creative projects that you’ve set yourself to do. You know, not not necessarily the salvation of half of the globe, but maybe the completion of your book, the completion of your course, the completion of the things that you’ve desired to bring to the world that you know are going to benefit other people and some of the ways in which we can kind of stay motivated through that process. You know, I think one of the big keys to completion is knowing the boundaries of our commission.
I was reminded of how Jesus said. He said, I’ve glorified you on Earth. This is in his kind of final days with his disciples prior to going to the cross. And he said, I’ve glorified you on Earth. I finished the work that you have given me to do. Now, you know, in saying this. The question becomes, did he heal every single sick person on the planet? No, he didn’t. Did he raise or every soul on the earth from poverty at this time?
No, he did not. Did he crush every demon? Did he take his throne as the ruler of the earth? Not at this time. In his commission, during his earthly ministry was very clear in his mind. And he knew the parameters that his father had prescribed for him. There’s he continues, you know, just a couple of verses later were looking in, John, 17 verses, four to six. He says, I’ve manifested your name to the men that you gave me out of the world.
The they were and you gave them to me. And they have kept your word. Okay, so there were certain ones that God had given him out of the world and his commission was to manifest the name of God to these particular people. You know, he knew who he was called to work with and he knew what he was called to fulfil and bring to to completion in their lives. And so he was able to say, Lord, I’ve done everything that you’ve asked of me.
I’ve done everything that I’ve been called to do with regard to these specific people that you’ve given me. Knowing your call is such an important part of being able to bring things to their conclusion and and being able to joyfully complete the projects that have been that have been assigned to you. Do you know my question, I guess, is do you know who you’re called to reach and how and why these particular people have been given to you? It’s a great place to begin, because when you know the part that you’re called to play in the Big Kingdom Enterprise, other things quickly begin to come into perspective and more clear focus.
And Larna and I are called to work with Christian entrepreneurs, creatives, authors, artists. That’s our call. That’s where we feel that we we can best serve the kingdom. Okay. We are not necessarily called to go and run kind of vast evangelistic rallies in various countries around the globe were not called necessarily to to the same thing as other people. And knowing and really kind of bedding in, accepting an abiding feeling, comfortable with what you are called to and who you are called to is such a big pod, you know, it helps to it helps to remove doubt.
Sometimes we can fall into the trap of working day after day in various avenues in this direction, in some other direction, but never really feeling comfortable, always feeling as though we should be doing something else. You know, we can be we can be involved heart and soul in something. And there’s always this gnawing doubt on the inside that, oh, maybe I should be doing this or maybe I should be doing that because we’re looking at what others are doing.
We’re looking at what others are accomplishing. We’re looking at the the the demographics that others have been called to reach and how they are operating. And somehow it makes us feel insecure in what we have been called to do. But, you know, clarity in your commission, clarity of understanding in kind of the part that you are called to play in the kingdom purpose, the bigger picture. And that really makes it the removal of doubt. That clarity of commission brings, that clarity of commission brings makes finishing number one possible.
OK, you’re no longer trying to be everything to everyone. You’re no longer trying to accomplish things beyond the remit that the Holy Ghost has given you. Number two, it makes it probable a clear sense of purpose. And the part you play means that you measure your success, not by what God has called someone else to do, but by what God has called you to do. Okay, so what I’m doing right now is part of my like me stepping out into the the commission that the I believe the Holy Ghost has given me to encourage creative, entrepreneurial Christians, artists and entrepreneurs to step out and to begin to exercise their creativity toward kind of getting their message out to the world, toward bringing value to the table to help and build other people.
That’s my desire. That’s what I believe I’m called to do in this season of our life. So it makes it far more probable that you’re going to finish because you actually you’re no longer working in that kind of two in that double mindedness feeling as though somehow you’re not doing what you should be doing. Okay. You know, hey, this is my part. This is what I need to do. This is the part I need to play in this big picture.
And if I play my part, that is going to allow others to step into their call and do what they are called to do. You know, if you’ve got machinery, if you’ve got a machine. And actually the picture we see in scripture is a far more organic than this. But if you got a machine and all of the working parts, they don’t all do the same thing. Yeah, one working part out of place means that the other parts, however seemingly big or small, however seemingly significant or not.
Yeah, you move one tiny part out of place and and kind of the whole system doesn’t work as efficiently and sometimes doesn’t work at all when that part is not doing what it’s called to do. So you know what you do and you actually finding your your place and beginning to exercise your creativity towards that end, not just starting but finishing and moving those wheels forward is so important, not just for you and for your fulfilment, but for the fulfilment and the building and the releasing of other people into what God has called them to do.
And number three, it actually makes it pleasurable. You know, it’s God equips us inwardly for what he calls us to do outwardly. And and sometimes we you know what? What happens when we begin to accept who we are? We become more comfortable with who we are and what we’re called to do. We’re much more inclined to just contentment because. The limitations of our calling, yeah, the limitations of our call actually fit us like a glove on a hand, you know, it’s no longer just a kind of sprawling piece of material.
It’s been fitted to to for us to walk in, you know, and with that, you know, there is limitations, but there’s also design. And when we step into the design of God for our lives, it just makes such an incredible difference. It just makes things work the way that we would like them to to to work so it becomes more pleasurable. You know, it’s like we don’t have to put on soul’s armour, OK, and go go on fighting and fumbling our way forward, trying to be or become something that were not.
See, your call is absolutely specific. It’s unique to you. The scriptures say in one to four, verse 10, as every man has received a gift, even so, minister, the same one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Each and every person has received a gift. Each and every person has been given a ministry. OK, and Jesus yoke is. And when we play our part, it’s not a burden to us.
Jesus yoke is easy, not because it’s insignificant, but because it’s well fitting. It doesn’t it doesn’t chafe when we walk in tandem and in pace with him. You know, when we try and put on someone else’s call, it’s like it’s like wearing tight pants. You know, if you got pants that are too tight for you, they’re going to chafe, man, and you will chafe other people because you won’t be fitted for that work. You know, someone as someone else’s call is not what you are designed to wear.
When we step in and when we put on Christ, when we put on what Christ has called us to do and begin to step up and step out into it, it just releases us from all of that kind of crazy pressure that sometimes we put ourselves under to try and be something that were not, you know, God’s God’s word and God’s work is absolutely vast. Yeah. And there are many parts that need to be played within it. You know, God has called us not to do it all ourselves, but to no one do what we are called to do with all of our heart, all of our passion, all of the strength that we can that we can gather.
Yeah. And also champion the call of other people not to be intimidated by it, not to be made to feel insecure because someone else is doing something that we maybe would look on and think, oh, man, I wish I could do that. When we find our call, when we when we settle into our core, when we lean in to the personality and we lean in to the purpose is that God has fitted for our life suddenly becomes much less, much less of a temptation to be to want to be something or someone else in this big scheme.
Because you understand, as Jesus said, you know, there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same lord. There are diversities of activities, but it’s the same God who works. All in all, the manifestation of the spirit is given to each one. OK, so each one has a diverse gift, a diverse ministry of different ways of of doing being acting in order to reach the audience that they have been called to reach in order to build the people that they have been called to build.
Yeah, but these manifestations of God’s spirit are given to each one individually and uniquely for the profit of all. And when you step in to your call and when you step out and begin to express your creative nature and step into what the Holy Ghost is placed on your life without excuse, without justifying it, without without comparing it your. We find that there comes a confidence that maybe previously you didn’t have and you’ll also find that as you do so, it encourages others to step into what they’re called to do.
You know, there’s a great verse in Ephesians Chapter four that I actually really love. It says, from whom the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causing growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. I mean, Paul did know how to kind of create a mouthful of a sentence, but this is so powerful. And there’s only one that I mean, there are many things that we could draw from this.
But I just want to bring out this one thing, that it’s where the joints are, that there is a supply. You know, there’s where the joints are. There is a supply. It’s when we’re working together. And by working together, I simply mean I love this again, the effective working by which every part does its share or plays its part. That’s how things are built up. That’s how things are released. That’s how things are strengthened.
And that’s how we come to a place of maturity. Secondly, I want to share is really simple. A little less philosophical and theological is just to simply break down your projects into their component parts. I know I’m a writer, so I’m going to use a book as a as an example. But this this process and this way of thinking can definitely be applied to any creative project that you undertake in a book. Doesn’t begin its life as some epic bestseller.
Yeah, it’s a book is essentially made up of chapters. Chapters are made up of paragraphs. Paragraphs are made up of sentences, sentences are made up of words. And when we break something down into its component parts, instead of looking at this like seemingly unreachable conclusion, we’re looking instead of looking at the the end. Yeah, we’re simply looking at a I’m going to write 500 words today or I’m going to write a thousand words today. I’m going to complete this chapter today, whatever it may be, whatever’s realistic.
And my encouragement to you is that you kind of set something that you can complete within a two hour window or, you know, whatever your timing decides, it’s different for us all but that you do something rather than trying to do this epic marathon, you know, at some unknown time in the future when the opportunity finally opens up for you to kind of begin working on whatever it is you’re carrying in your heart, I would say, like, roll it right back.
Okay. So go to the end and then the end. Yeah. And then roll back. Right down to where you are right now and say, OK, how many? How much time can I give to this each day or what would be my realistic goal that I can bring to completion each day and then instead of the yardstick being like a gazillion miles down the road, you know, you’ve got milestones that you’re hitting every single day and that kind of motivation when you know that you are daily kind of hitting your milestones, completing another victory, it just makes it easy to complete.
It makes it easier to continue and just keep going. And then finally to to be a good finisher. OK. And again, I’m talking really in the context of creative projects. It can be broader than this. But I’m a kind of I’m very much a project based person. I love to create things. I love to complete things. And I love to ship things. I love things going out there where they can be consumed, where they can help someone else.
I’ve got to say, I’m not like a massive fan of perfectionism. I believe in excellence. I believe in doing things as well as you can. But if if you know, if it’s preventing you just stepping out, you know, just just kind of bag that one and and begin to make some moves forward. And so this final key really to being a good finish is to make your progress public. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to jump on and do this kind of thing.
You don’t have to be out there, like, just plastering it all over everyone’s wall, but by by making yourself accountable to other people. Okay. Whether that’s to just a small group, whether that’s just I mean, it can kind of boil right down to your spouse or just your best friend. But I would suggest making it broader than that, put it out to where you feel a sense of responsibility to other people and where you feel compelled to to complete, if not for yourself, for the people that you’ve committed to and that you’ve said, I’m going to do this, I’m going to go forward with this and I’m going to make this happen and have them hold you accountable, have them, you know.
And and also the great thing is you’ve then got a cloud of witnesses cheering you on and you’ll be surprised at how quickly and consistently you can make progress and say, you know, if you’ve not already started, I encourage you do not despise the day of small beginnings. Get those first 500 words down. Get that first video done. Get that outline complete. Get that, get that. Get those those that that verse down or that chorus down, whatever it may be, just begin and let the wheels begin to move and then let a sense of your call and the importance.
It’s really important. This is such a key thing, man. It’s really important that you actually act on what you believe God has called you to do. It’s so essential because you are not just robbing yourself of the the joy and the satisfaction that the Holy Ghost wants to deliver to you as you move forward in in tandem with what he is kind of prompting you to do. But it’s also robbing the people that you will benefit as you step out in and take courage and begin the work.
But not only beginning, but apply some very, very simple keys to bring what you start to completion. It may be today that you need to kind of kind of just go back and and resurrect something that you started and didn’t finish. It may be that there’s something that you’ve got underway at the moment and you’ve allowed procrastination or doubt to kind of back you off and back you up. And you’ve you’ve kind of leaned back into something a bit more comfortable.
But I encourage you just make today a day that you put put some pressure in, put some effort, put some thought and some energy in to taking the projects that you’ve got underway or the ideas that you are cultivating in your spirit. Take some moves toward making them real. Put some substance to the faith that you’re carrying in your heart. Well, thanks for listening, hopefully. It’s been an encouragement to you today, if you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com.
Have a great day.