Has it really been over a month since my last post?! Wrapping up the summer and entering the back to school season has been more than a notion. So we’ve got some catching up to do! For all interested parties, here’s a photo montage of the last six weeks of my life.
Now that we’ve properly caught up, on to today’s topic: Fourth Quarter Victory. We’re getting ready to embark on the last quarter of 2017. In any good game, the fourth quarter is where the action happens. It’s the pivotal moment of truth. It separates the girls from the women, so to speak. In quarter four, you’ve only got two choices: go hard or give up.
On the one hand, there’s enough time left in the year to cover some ground in what God has called you to do and grow closer to Him. On the other hand, we’re close enough to the end of the year to simply give up and resolve to start fresh in January.
“Give up” doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t get out of bed or you’ve stopped getting dressed, brushing your teeth and showing up to work. It could simply mean that you accept the status quo and get comfortable living below your full potential.
Or it could mean that you’re not pushing toward and focusing on everything you know you’re capable of. Bare minimum. Getting by. Good but not great. You get the idea.
Here’s my encouragement to you. No matter where you find yourself today, give it all you’ve got. Face this day, this week and the coming months with all the intensity you have within you.
We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. – John 9:4
During His time on earth, Jesus understood that because His time here was limited, He needed to devote His efforts to what the Father had put Him here to do. He couldn’t get distracted with this, that and the other thing. He needed to make every second count.
In a similar way, God encourages us to be as effective as possible for Him — not at some point in the future, but right now.
Watch the Clock
I know next to nothing about sports, but I’ve noticed there’s one thing that seems to be a pretty big feature at most sporting events: the clock. It’s the instrument used to measure how much time the players have before the game is over.
Sister, the clock is ticking.
It’s appointed to us a finite number of days, hours and minutes to complete the assignment God has given us.
Only trouble is no one knows how much time is left.
Every Christmas, it never fails. My husband and I bend over backward to get our kids the gifts they’ve asked for. They’re entertained by them for a while, but next thing you know, those very same gifts are tossed in a corner, neglected and unused.
God gives us so many gifts, some financial, some material and some in the meeting of our basic needs. But one of the greatest gifts He gives is the gift of time.
Each second God gives us is a gift, not a given. It’s a precious commodity and God expects us to value it.
Have you ever seen a LeBron James-Steph Curry-Michael Jordan type athlete dawdling about on the basketball court while the clock is running, letting time pass them by? Highly unlikely. They know every second is extremely valuable and if they want to win, they can’t afford to squander the time.
So it is with you and me. Whatever you’re led to do right now, do it right now. Now is all we’ve got.
During a basketball game, each team gets a certain number of timeouts. These are the moments when the team huddles together and receives direction, strategy, and a plan of execution from their coach in order to win.
It seems that most of the time, teams try to save several timeouts for the fourth quarter, probably because this is such a critical moment in the game. Those last few minutes could significantly affect the outcome and every move needs to be made deliberately under the wise, watchful direction of the coach.
You are in the fourth quarter and you, too, have a Coach. He is our Father God. He is always ready and willing to take a one-on-one timeout with you and give you strategy and direction on how to make the most of these moments He’s given you to play the game. God is inviting you to take an abundance of fourth quarter timeouts so that every move you make is aligned with His will.
Ladies, welcome to the fourth quarter. It’s time to look at the scoreboard, reflect on where we are and and put a plan in place to finish strong.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15-16
Questions for Reflection
What’s something I feel God leading me to accomplish by the end of 2017? What steps do I need to take to get there?
Does the way I spend my time align with my life purpose, priorities and core values?What adjustments do I need to make to my schedule to more closely align with where I want to go?
Who can hold me accountable to the changes I need to make for a strong fourth quarter finish?
Am I taking enough “timeouts?” Do I consistently set aside time for God to give me strategy and direction so that I can be effective in the game?
For Further Reading