He Finishes What He Starts

Confession: My home isn’t Pinterest-pin worthy. Specifically, there are two rooms upstairs, a guest room and an office, to which I’d prefer to just keep the doors closed. They aren’t decorated, organized, or furnished the way I’d like. Stacks of books, clothes, and craft supplies clutter the floors. One room at least has a coat of fresh paint. The other still sports the lime green color the previous homeowners left.

Those rooms intimidate my socks right off. If Joanna Gaines were my BFF, we’d be in great shape—but sadly, she’s not my decorator-come-to-the-rescue, and those rooms are left only looking functional, not pretty.

I can envision the finished product, the bright, airy, beautiful rooms I’d like to transform them into . . . and the perfectionist in me shudders, because it’s a project I simply feel unable to tackle. Why start if I don’t know what steps to take to make it absolutely perfect?

So the cycle continues: I want to create perfect spaces, I realize I don’t know how, so my discouraged heart doesn’t try.

This “infinite loop” is actually a common cycle that links perfectionism with procrastination. This theory states that because perfectionists fear being unable to complete a task perfectly, they put it off as long as possible.

That’s where I find myself in the home improvement department. A looping perfectionism/procrastination cycle. This is also where I often find myself on a spiritual level, too.

Struggling To Start

At this point in my life, I imagined I’d be further along in my walk with Christ. I thought I’d be climbing spiritual mountain peaks, serving my husband as a picture of biblical womanhood, writing countless blog posts packed with great spiritual insight. I hoped I’d be a prayer warrior, a faithful encourager, a dedicated student of the Word.

Yet in reality, I find myself struggling to get started. I see where I’m at, in the valleys instead of mountain peaks, and I whisper, “Lord, I’m kind of failing . . . You must be disappointed. I get it if You’d rather pass on using me for now.”

We’re works in progress being shaped by God’s power, mercy, and grace.

Like closing the door to hide my someday-guest-room, I close my Bible. I close out of the Google Doc where I try to write a blog post. I close the study on biblical womanhood. And I start to dwell on my shortcomings and wonder if I’ll ever reach the goals I once dreamed about. It’s as if I’m procrastinating my Christian walk right along with choosing a paint color.

Have you ever felt the same?
Are you walking through life in that disappointed state, too?
Are you trapped in a perfectionism/procrastination cycle?

Do you wonder if God’s given up on you because you feel like throwing in the towel yourself?

This is the life raft that will pull us from the depths of our own sinking thoughts:

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).

If you’ve put your faith in Christ to save you, then He will never leave you high and dry. He desires to do a good work in and through your life that will further His kingdom and advance the gospel for His glory.

We’re works in progress being shaped by God’s power, mercy, and grace.

The Difference Between Salvation and Sanctification

When we enter God’s family at salvation, we’re justified—declared righteous in the eyes of God because of Christ who died in our place (Rom. 3:23–26). Then, as we journey through life seeking to know, love, and serve Jesus, He sanctifies us—the process of becoming more like Him, enabled by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:2–4).

Sanctification never happens overnight; it happens over a lifetime.

Sanctification never happens overnight; it happens over a lifetime.

That means God uses incomplete people—works in progress. It’s one of those mind-blowing truths that teaches us His grace firsthand.

Scan through God’s Word and you’ll find imperfect person after imperfect person who was used by God to fulfill His good and sovereign purposes. This beautiful story of redemption tells itself throughout the pages of His Word: a perfect God who chooses to utilize unfinished people—failures, even—to carry out His grand plan for this world.

This breaks the chains shackling our ready-to-give-up hearts. It sets us free to live in faith, believing God has plans for us, and it’s Him who executes those plans as He wills; we are called to follow in obedience (Phil. 2:12–13).

You’re Not Finished with Me Yet

I love Psalm 51. It’s the psalm David penned in repentance after he committed adultery with Bathsheba and then ordered the murder of her husband, Uriah. (Talk about a work in progress!) These nineteen verses capture the stunning beauty of a repentant heart and God’s forgiveness.

In verse 10, David pleads:

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Notice the verbs “create” and “renew.” David doesn’t say, “Make me perfect, God.” He says, “Create in me a clean heart.” Continue to sanctify me, God. Bring about this change in my life. Make my heart clean! And Lord, renew my spirit—make it one that honors You.

Create. Renew. This ongoing gospel process is God’s will for us (1 Thess. 4:1–7).

One of my favorite songs is actually based on Psalm 51. The lyrics to “Create in Me” by Rend Collective are
often an anthem for my soul:

Create in me a clean, clean heart,
Create in me a work of art,
Create in me a miracle,
Something real and something beautiful.

You’re not finished with me yet,
You’re not finished with me yet,
By your power I can change, I can change,
‘Cause you’re not finished with me yet.

God’s mercy and grace fuel His sanctifying power to create in us clean hearts that are ready to be used by Him. By His power we can change. He’s not finished with us yet! One thousand amens.

By His power we can change. He’s not finished with us yet!

If you find yourself discouraged by your lack of progress or desperately trapped in the bondage of sin, cling tight to the God who will finish what He starts. He’ll never close the door on you.

He is powerful to create clean hearts. He is good to renew right spirits. He is faithful to complete that which He’s begun.

He Sanctifies One Step at a Time

I’m going to tackle my guest room soon. The walls will be painted, furniture will be selected, curtains, mirrors, and art will be hung. I’ll bite off small chunks at a time.

And that’s how our Christian walk should be. One step of obedience, faith, and surrender at a time.

God is not finished with you, precious sister in Christ. He’s in the process of sanctifying you; what are the next steps you need to take to draw closer to Him?

I’d love to hear from you.

About Author

Samantha Nieves

Samantha loves grammar, lazy lake days, iced green tea, and writing about the glorious gospel truths that transform our everyday lives. A northern Indiana native, Samantha now lives in South Carolina and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

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