MANY HAVE LIVED WELL INTENTIONED LIVES, BUT FEW HAVE FINISHED WELL.
FINISHING WELL INVOLVES MAKING INTENTIONAL CHOICES.
FINISHING WELL is about BEHAVIOR. It’s about a life that seeks greater alignment with Christ. It involves translating what we say and know to be true, into daily life, and an ongoing lifestyle. And that means CHOICES.
This BLOG SERIES has sought to better define what it means to FINISH WELL and examine those issues that hold a Christ-follower back. FIRST BLOG, we sought to define what it means to FINISH WELL. LAST TIME we identified potential the barriers to FINISHING WELL.
BLOG #3: INTENTIONAL CHOICES THAT ENHANCE FINISHING WELL
LUKE 9:51 … In the midst of much opposition, we read the following regarding Christ’s life: “As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.”
NOTE: Jesus “resolutely” (NIV) … with an “iron will” (Living)…set his face toward Jerusalem. Jesus made CHOICE(S) that led to the defining moment of redemption. In his humanity, he made the intentional CHOICE to live out what He, the Father and The Spirit had ordained before all this began.
Jesus’ life modeled the need for CHOICES. If we are to live out our mission and finish well, it will require a series of intentional CHOICES. Some will be exciting, some will involve suffering. Some will be misunderstood by even those close to us. Some will be made in the defining moments of our lives. But, each of our lives for Christ will involve strategic CHOICES.
With this in mind, watch this clip from APOLLO 13. Note how the rescue effort, and the completion of the mission, meant that choices were to be made.
Kingdom leaders who have gone before us, and have finished well, made choices. From the lives of those who did finish well, FIVE CHOICES emerge. Each of these CHOICES served to enhance his/her ability to stay the course.
FIVE CHOICES (Source: Dr. J. Robert Clinton, Leadership Emergence Theory)
RENEWING: Making the choice to go deeper in one’s intimacy and dependency on Christ.
This is the choice to continue to cultivate a deeper passion for God. It is a call for a posture of on-going renewal. Effective ministry flows out of being. God grants authority to those who respond to the spiritual longing of their heart, not just resting on the natural abilities. You will only go as wide for Christ, as you are willing to go deeper with Christ.
LEARNING: Making the choice to be a lifelong learner.
This is the choice to take responsibility for one’s spiritual growth and development as a leader. They refuse to blame their system, pathology, or breaks in life for the plateaued in their formation. They chose to not rest on yesterdays learning. They make the choice of “lifelong” learning. In particular they chose to return back to the Word of God, and to be Bible-centered in their leadership.
RESETTING: Making the choice to live from a lifetime perspective.
This is the choice to live life from a big-picture, sovereign perspective. They invest time in viewing all of their lives from God’s perspective, not just situationally. They see their story as part of the grand narrative; God’s Story. It also involves making decisions for the future, based upon God’s unique shaping of his/her past.
UNFOLDING: Make the choice to allow God to unfold one’s calling and contribution.
This is the choice to relinquish control of the agenda, and let God be God. It is the remaining pliable to God’s shaping work. It is the adoption of the posture of discovery of one’s personal destiny. It is alignment with the work that God has always been at work doing. It is allowing one’s call and approach to ministry to be dynamic.
EMPOWERING: Making the choice to live in the context of community.
This is the choice of allowing others to impact you and your decisions; mentoring, and your contributing (mentoring) others. You do not get to clarity along, and courage does not come void of community. It is the choice to allow others to speak into, and hold you accountable, for your choices. To step out of isolation.
Our responsibility is not invent our futures, Ours is to make the choices to align with the work that God is already doing in our lives. The FIVE CHOICES help leader sto remain responsive to God’s on-going work. Which is being lived out right now? Which of the FIVE CHOICES needs to be re-examined?
Up Next: The FOURTH and FINAL blog post of this series on Finishing Well: ACCEPTING THE CHALLENGE.
© Terry Walling 2013.