From a message at the Sunshine Rescue Mission Man Cave on February 9, 2021
Businesses almost thrive. Marriages almost survive. Addicts almost learn how to stay alive. The list of "almosts" is never complete, there's always another almost waiting to happen. Why do we stop short? Is it a character defect? Is it part of God's testing ground to grow our character? I won't waste time looking for excuses, let's focus on how to become finishers.
There's something I've noticed that all successful people do - they own their own stuff (they accept responsibility for their place in life.). That means they don't play the blame game. The guys stuck on the island of Almost are always blaming somebody else for their failures. Back in the Old Testament days, folks with the contagious disease of leprosy would have to announce their presence by yelling, "UNCLEAN! UNCLEAN!" Folks on the Island of Almost announce their presence as well. With their attitude and habits, they announce to the world, "ALMOST MAN! ALMOST MAN!"
For some guys the recognition of danger is enough to catapult them off the island. One act can lead to the development slovenly (and sinful) habits that ignore consequences. King Solomon was recognized as one of the wisest guys who ever lived. He wrote many Proverbs to teach a wisdom. In Proverbs 14, he writes about the dangers of adultery. In the 5th verse he uses the word "almost." Read that verse in four different versions.
1. "I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly." KJV
2. "Now I’m totally disgraced and my life is ruined! "I’m paying the price—for the people of the congregation are now my judges.” TPT
3. "I have come very close to being completely ruined in front of a whole group of people.” ICB
4. "I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace.” NLT
Folks who live on the Island of Almost have almost given up hope of ever losing disgrace - that's the brink of ruin. Back in Solomon's day the act of adultery would get you stoned to death. That might seem like a harsh penalty for one act of cheating, but imagine what one sinful deed can lead to. People die from sexual disease. Marriages, businesses, friendships and relationships with children can be destroyed through infidelity. One bad act can have a ripple effect of greater destruction. One small step for Almost Man can be one step away from hell. Folks in continued and unchecked sin are almost in hell.
Our actions can cause us to become disgraced in front of a large group of people, but with God there's always grace. Our next article is called "Leftovers, Hangovers & Do-Overs." Jesus hung on a cross in disgrace that He didn't deserve so that we don't have to live in the disgrace that we do deserve.
Take ownership of your life and begin again. Turn your failures into steppingstones of success. Get off the island of Almost and stop living as "Almost Man." In a horrific end of life, Jesus was setting the stage for new life when He said, "It is finished." God doesn't consider anybody He made to be a waste of His time.
Here are the steps to leave the "Island of Almost."
- Surrender your past. Jesus has already taken your past from you, don't pull it back.
- Disgrace and shame are place settings for the devil. Don't share a meal with him.
- Jesus fed 5,000 and 4,000 on separate occasions when nobody saw enough food. With Jesus, you will always have enough to get you to the finish line.
- Jesus didn't stop at almost, He gave thanks to God and always finished by the grace of God - and so will you!
#ywap4Finishers #ywap4Christ #JLYASDW