Reaching your full potential in God is not an easy thing! If you squash a spring, you can feel the tension in the spring, which scientists call potential energy. It has all this energy stored within it, its under tension and ready to pop, but the energy has not amounted to anything yet. You can feel the tension in the spring.
So it is with people. So many of us have potential, tremendous, life changing, world conquering potential, but it cannot be seen and has not been realised yet. We sense it is there, we feel like we could amount to something awesome for God, but as yet nothing is seen. And like a spring, we too feel the tension of knowing we could become more than we are right now. And not us, but the Lord in us!
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
FEEL THE FULL POTENTIAL
Stop right now and look deep within you heart. Do you believe that there's more there, that you have greater potential than what others and indeed you yourself see manifest today?
The truth is, most Christians are not pursuing their full, God given potential. They are not factoring God into their decision-making or into their goal setting.
Most Christians cannot clearly define what they believe to be the Lord’s foremost purpose and plan for their lives. They will stare at you blankly if you ask, “What do you believe is God’s will for you? Why do you believe He created you? What is the Father leading you to do next in your life?”
Many believers have a vague idea that there is more, that they have a greater destiny, that they are not at their full potential, but they're not sure, have no idea what it is and no idea how to obtain this.
Let me assure you of some great truths as we start this series on how to reach your full potential in Christ.
1. GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOU
First, God absolutely has a will, plan, and purpose for your life individually and personally.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
He also has a broad will, plan, and purpose for all of mankind, and He has specifically designed you and equipped you to fulfil a portion of that bigger will, plan, and purpose.
You are not an accident. You are not on this earth merely to live a certain number of years, months, and days, and then die. You are not here to make up the numbers. You are here to accomplish a job that God assigned to you from eternity past.
2. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU GIFTS
Your heavenly Father loves you and has already embedded into you all of the gifts and talents you need to complete the work that He has assigned, prepared, and provided for you to do. God has already embedded into you all of the raw material necessary for you to come into a relationship with Him and to develop the character of His Son, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:11 (Message)
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.
Your job is to discover the gifts and talents that God has placed in you, to develop them, and to begin to use them as the Lord brings opportunities for service or ministry. Hence 201.
3. GOD HAS MADE YOU UNIQUE
Third, nobody can be who you are, nobody can replace you, and nobody else on this earth is capable of fulfilling the Father’s plan for you. Nobody else can do the work He has gifted you to do, know the people He is leading you to know, or offer the praise and prayer that He is giving your voice to. To find fulfilment, you must be and do what God made you to be and do.
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
As we join together as a church, God even hones and shapes us to fit perfectly together
1 Peter 2:4-5
you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood,
4. GOD HAS ESTABLISHED A PATH TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL
Fourth, God has a path you need to walk to reach the full, God given potential in your life. This requires a word that is frowned upon in our modern world… discipline!
Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.
Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.
Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
You must establish firm commitments in various areas of your life in order to pursue and begin to reach your God-given potential. It doesn’t unfold accidentally, randomly or automatically. The pursuit of your unique potential and purpose requires you to seek God’s very specific help in very specific areas of your life.
You cannot wander off doing whatever you like and expect God to lead and guide you. It takes obedience, it takes discipline. If you don't read His Word, if you don't go to church or wander from church to church seeking a big zap from the Lord or the latest Holy Spirit fad, you won't grow, and you will miss the path God has for you!
The question I ask you, which He has also asked me, is…
“Do you want to reach your full potential?”
If your answer is yes, then the next month or two in Coast Church is going to be must watch, must attend viewing for you. If it's no, I'm sad for you, because you are going to miss out on the most exciting life ever!
IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!
Destiny is a series of choices. It doesn't happen randomly as new age philosophy will try to tell you. It's not floating out there in the never never waiting to strike against you when you least expect it.
If you fail to reach your destiny, don't blame your parents, don't blame your spouse, don't blame your circumstances, and definitely don't blame God! You, and you alone are responsible… just you!
In our modern world, no one accepts responsibility. People today blame their parents, their upbringing, their exes, their teachers. They blame bad luck, bad drugs, bad friends, bad churches or bad leadership. They point the finger at the GFC, KFC, COC, MTV or a whole range of things for not reaching their potential.
But at the end of the day, it all comes down to you. Plenty of people have had rougher starts and more tragic pasts than you, but have still risen to reach their potential.
It all comes down to your decisions. You can decide right now that you are going to stick with me in this series and discover how to reach your full potential in Christ, or not. Your choice!
STEPPING OFF THE PATH- LOSING YOUR DESTINY
Saul was Israel’s first king, but he got impatient, took matters into his own hands and lost his destiny. Samson was Israel’s great saviour, but he chased women and failed to keep his temper and lost his destiny. King Uzziah was a great king, but he wanted to also be a priest, so he overstepped the mark and was punished with leprosy and lost his destiny. Great men, great destinies, thrown away by bad choices and lousy motives!
I’M SO EXCITED, AND I JUST CAN’T HIDE IT!
Are you excited about your life? Are you excited to reach for your full potential? Or do you feel as if you are merely existing?
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
If you're excited, why not let your face know about it!
Are you moving with confidence toward a desired goal, towards the life and destiny God has for you? Or do you feel as if you are drifting along from day to day without any sense of purpose or direction? Going through the motions.
Perhaps there was a time when you were excited about your life, but now the excitement has faded, and you are asking, What has happened to me? Why am I so apathetic about my life? What happened to my inner drive? What happened to my hopes and dreams of becoming someone great for the Lord?
Are you stuck in a rut? A rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out, it's not a place you want to be! In this series I'm going to show you how to bust out of the rut and reach for the stars!
There are reasons we feel stuck, discouraged, or adrift. There are reasons people lose their enthusiasm for life. There are reasons God’s people lose their hope, their sense of purpose, their sense of destiny, and their joy. There are reasons life becomes just one long bore.
To punch through the curtain of reasons and reach your full potential, you need to recognise two fundamental but sometimes intimidating truths…
- God has placed within you more than you realise
- It is likely you've settled for the just adequate life you have now.
THE JUST ADEQUATE LIFE
I meet so many people who have settle for a just adequate, often a barely adequate life.
Somehow along the journey of life, they became complacent and content in their circumstances. They settled for what they believed was adequate or satisfactory. They stopped striving for more, and after a while they stopped even seeing that there's more there at all.
What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
The sad thing is that eventually the person who has settled for a just adequate life may actually feel threatened by challenges to achieve, more, or experience more than what is presently the reality of their life. Ultimately you turn your back on your future and refuse to hope for more, seek more, or pursue more.
In fact, you might be sitting in your seat right now feeling uncomfortable and maybe even a little offended by what I am saying.
If that is where you are today, I encourage you to begin to see yourself the way God sees you. When you look at yourself through His eyes, you will no longer be satisfied with a just adequate life. You'll see that God has much, much more for you.
And don't fall for the age argument. Just because you're older, just because you are in a new church, just because your family or work situation is bad, none of these should limit your potential. Right Doug?
SEEING THROUGH GOD’S EYES
Your heavenly Father sees you through eyes of love and forgiveness.
He sees where you are now, but more importantly, He sees the person He made you to be. He sees beyond your sin, your fears an your hangups, and His eyes see the awesome potential and possibilities He created you to fulfil.
You can decide right now that you want to discover this hidden potential. You can ask God right now to start to show you His will and the God given destiny He has for you. You can covenant with Him right now to align yourself with His plan and purpose for you. Decide this, and you are about to embark on one of the greatest journeys of discovery imaginable.
God promises to bless you with life at its best (John 10:10). So where do you start to learn how God sees you?
Psalm 139:13-16 is a great start…
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
1. YOU’RE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE
I didn't say it, God did. He made you, and He made you unique and awesome!
When God created Adam and Eve, they were perfect, but sin intervened and marred His beautiful creation. When God looks at you, He sees your full potential in all it's original glory.
This doesn't mean He wants to make you into some beauty queen, but rather it means that He desires to engage in the process of transforming you from the inside out, so that you will be continually being moulded into the most God-beloved, Christ-Honouring, Spirit-filled, person you can ever be.
It also means that He is working all situations and circumstances for your good so that you can perform the functions He has equipped and enabled you to accomplish or complete during your lifetime.
God is not out to make you comfortable, but to develop Godly character. The symbol for Christianity is a cross, not a cushion. Most of what we pray for is about making us comfortable, successful or prosperous, but God will often use adversity to mould us into who we should be.
And He has a plan for us, Jeremiah 29:11. He has a destiny for our lives, if only we would see ourselves as God sees us.
2. HE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU
Psalm 139 says “Your eyes saw my unformed substance.” Even in the womb, He saw it,
Your substance is more than your body. It is the sum of all your natural gifts, talents, dreams, personality, and abilities. He made you one of a kind, and from your beginning, He saw your potential, He saw right to your ending. The Lord has always known what you could be and do, because He is the One who created you.
3. HE KNOWS THE DAYS FORMED FOR YOU
Psalm 139:16 says that He know the days formed for you, when there was not yet even one of them.
You see, you were born at a particular time, to a particular family in a particular location. He made your life a set number of years in a set environment so you could be and do all that He created you to be and do.
Some of you faced tougher circumstances than others, but all of us have faced pain, adversity, heartache or abuse at some point. If you let Him, God can draw goodness out of even the most horrible circumstances, and use that to help you reach your full potential and achieve what He wants in you life! Fiona’s great counselling skills have come about at least in part by the abuse she has suffered and triumphed over.
He will bring people and circumstances into your life, both good and bad, to fashion you into what He has planned for you. If you have ever wondered why you are on this earth, understand that God has placed you here as a unique person and given you unique experiences both good and bad to have you achieve a unique mission, aimed at establishing and extending His kingdom. Your potential lies securely and completely in that purpose.
WEAVING OUR WAY THROUGH LIFE
If you are starting to catch a glimpse of how exciting discovering your potential could be, of how God is weaving all things together then I’m excited too.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
The threads of you as a unique individual are being intertwined with the threads of unique situations, circumstances, experiences, and relationships to produce an incredible, multi faceted, beautiful destiny.
Out of tragedy emerges triumph. Out of fear comes fulfilment. Every disaster can be turned into victory. A set back is just the set up for a come back!
There was once a mule who fell into a well, a water shaft. The villagers compared the effort of a rescue with the value of the animal and decided, on balance, it was better to bury him. They started shovelling dirt. The mule had other ideas. As the clods hit his back, he shook them off and stomped them down. Each spade of earth lifted him higher, until he reached the top of the well and walked out. What his would-be killers thought would bury him actually delivered him.
God works all things, even the tough things, for your ultimate good, and the fulfilment of your full potential.
- He is bringing into your path people, opportunities, challenges, and resources.
- He is placing in you dreams, desires, and expectations about the challenges that already are making their way to you.
- He is preparing you in every way for the many opportunities that lie ahead.
- He is setting within you the expectation that something purpose-filled and exhilarating is just about to emerge.
When you begin to see the wonderful, prepared future that God is unfolding before you, life will take on greater importance and purpose. You’ll wake up every morning with an excitement and a desire to experience all that He has planned for you! You will reach your full potential in Christ!
Or you can be satisfied with a second rate, second best, just adequate life. You can get so complacent and self-satisfied in your just adequate life that when the alarm goes off, you roll over and go back to sleep. And the longer you leave it, the more unfulfilled and apathetic you become, and you quickly finish up blind to the fact that God has more for you to be, to experience, to receive, and to do.
Today the choice is ours! It's up to us to choose what God has already has chosen for us. Do we sit, content in mediocrity and devoid of hope, or do we seek the fullness of life in God.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
God challenges us today to choose life, and not just any life… He means life to the fullest!
Today God sets before you all the possibilities of life. He wants you to embrace the life He has planned for you. This means that we must determine in our hearts and minds to live every single day to the utmost. We must welcome every new opportunity, grab hold of every new challenge, and face every new day with eagerness to discover what God has for us.
And we must obediently and daily seek and follow the Lord!
You see, God never shoots for the ordinary. He is the God of the extraordinary! Look at the stars and galaxies, look at plants and animals. Look at the lives of other Christians you know, Christians totally sold out and committed to serving Jesus, who live life to the full in every aspect of life, regardless of their health, finances or family situations.
Jesus hasn't called you to an ordinary, mundane, merely okay, or just adequate life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). An abundant life overflows with God’s presence; it overflows with His love, joy, peace, hope, blessings, and power. It is full of God ordained, God planned and God orchestrated potential, and it is here for you this morning with one simple decision!
Are you passionate about life?
Do you deeply desire to experience all God has for you?
Do you really want His best in your finances, your job, your leisure, your hobbies, your relationships, your marriage, your church and your family?
The choice is yours… now choose life!
Today I am asking to ask you to commit to reaching your fullest potential in Christ. It will mean coming to church, it will mean reading the Word daily, it will mean facing some tough decisions perhaps, and it will mean commitment.
Where ever you are at today, whatever you see in your own life right now, if you are ready to reach higher, go deeper and move towards your full potential, I'm going to ask you to stand with me.