THE FINISH LINE OF OUR FAITH
Do you know what Moses, David and Samson have in common? They each missed out on a major, if not, THE major point of their lives. Moses was supposed to be the leader who led the Hebrews out of captivity and into the Promised Land. Moses did not see The Promised Land. Why? He did not follow instructions. God told Moses to speak to the rock and drinking-water would burst forth for all. What did Moses do? He got frustrated with the people to the point of anger and hit the rock twice with The Staff. God, graciously, still honored the action of Moses and saved face for Moses, but that moment, that decision cost him the crossing of The Jordan or The Finish Line. (See Numbers 20:1-12)
David was a good shepherd. David was a great musician, especially a harpist. David was a brave warrior and excellent fighter. David was even called a man after God's own heart. However, for all David's marvelous accomplishments and for all David's military victories, David's Finish Line was not realized either. David's life seemed to be headed toward chief worshiper with all the Psalms/Songs he wrote and composed. Everyone back then, especially David, could have seen David being a Priest-King operating in the Temple he was divinely given the plans to build. However, outweighing this life on the other side of the scales was God's announcement that David was too much a man of blood to have the privilege and responsibility to build The Temple of The Lord. But God showed His grace again and kept the builder in David's family. Solomon, David's son, would build The Temple from David's plans via The Lord. (See 1 Chronicles 28)
Samson was squirreled away and blessed before he was even born (Judges 13). The pledge from a barren mother to God before he was born was no razor will touch Samson's head/hair. Samson's long hair was the outward symbol of his sanctification unto the Lord. Samson's strength was God's manifested power through him for his obedience.
In the days of his prime, Samson led Israel for twenty years. Then came Delilah. How she convinced him to divulge his secret after three failed previous attempts I do not know, but she retrieved the information and used it against him. Everybody has got their price and Delilah's was 1100 shekals from each of the Philistine leaders.
The potential for Samson to continue leading additional years and the probability that Samson would dominate many other enemies was halted drastically. Samson's hair grew back from that unexpected haircut in the middle of the night. With the new hair came new strength. By this time Samson was in the enemy's camp and on display at a huge gala. Samson prayed to The Lord for one more grand use of his power, even to the end of his own life and Samson toppled over the pillars to the arena he was at killing many. So, Samson's Finish Line was not realized.
When Paul wrote the first time to the believers in Corinth, he reminded them of where their gaze should be focused upon. He said, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize." (1 Cor. 9:24) Not only do we get Christ as our Ultimate Prize when we finish our journey of faith, but we will also receive crowns and other rewards for the service we rendered for Him here on earth.
So, in that line-of-thought Paul continues to admonish the believers, this time in Galatia, when he said - "You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?" (Galatians 5:7) Moses allowed the foothold of frustration and it cost him a Finish Line he could see - The Promised Land. David selected a lifestyle of bloodshed that cost him his Finish Line of building upon God's Temple-designs given to him. Samson permitted frustration with Delilah's persistence and fell into disobedience costing him his potential.
As you can see, disobedience and frustration/distraction are notable elements of the believers Faith Race to avoid. Try to keep obedience, peace and self-control at the forefront of your walk with God. Place spiritual blinders on if you must. Ask The Lord to hide you in The Cleft of The Rock so that your focus is on Him and your frustrations or distractions are eliminated. Do this and you will have an edge during the race of life as you look toward The Finish Line Of Our Faith.