“And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.”
The verse above shows a troubling mindset that many Believers are guilty of doing. God told Israel in verse 2, “Avenge the children of Israel of the Midianites: afterward shalt thou be gathered unto thy people.” It was the Midianites who hired Balaam to curse Israel, but when he didn’t do what they wanted, they lured Israel into adulterous sin. You may remember in Numbers 25, how Israel was vexed with their wiles. God wanted them avenged. He wanted them to be totally destroyed, but for some reason the men of war only slew the males. Verse 14 shows that Moses knew the sin of these men when he was wroth with them for saving the women and children alive.
The history of the Midianites should have ended in this chapter, but it did not. In the Book of Judges, the Midianites came back to strength and were the people who ruled over Israel until Gideon destroyed them. Because the men of war stopped short of complete, and because Moses didn’t follow through by completely destroying these people, their children grew up and once again became a thorn in Israel’s side.
Good never comes when you stop short of complete. Stopping short of complete always comes back to bite you in the future. Many Believers have found themselves dealing with bigger problems that should have been dealt with had they completed the task they were assigned to do. If you don’t want the children of the task to come back and hurt you in the future, you had better learn how to keep going until you complete what you are doing. Several lessons can be learned from this story that will help you not to have to face the children of incomplete in the future.
First, stopping short of complete is a character flaw. Whether it is a sin you are fighting or a task that you are trying to complete, you must learn to follow through to complete. Don’t ever get yourself to the point where you quit before you are done. Almost completing something is nothing short of quitting before the task is done. God wants His children to be a people who finish what they start. Your character is revealed when you are willing to stop short of complete. If you are willing to stop short of complete with tasks, you will be willing to stop short of complete obedience to God. Don’t start the habit of not completing what you start. If you don’t want this to be a bad habit that follows you the rest of your life, don’t start it at any point.
Second, stopping short of complete always hurts you in the future. Just like it came back to hurt Israel in the Book of Judges, it will always come back to hurt you at the most inconvenient time. Stopping short of completely overcoming sin always allows sin to come back in greater strength. Stopping short of complete of on the job causes the job to linger with greater consequences that you must deal with in the future. Stopping short of complete in God’s will causes others to be hurt because of your willingness not to follow through. Stopping short of complete always causes greater consequences that you will have to deal with in the future.
My friend, don’t become the Believer who doesn’t finish what they start. If you start a project; finish it. There is something you haven’t followed through with that you are thinking of right now; whatever it is, go and finish the task.