Positive Faith Pursues Potential

      One of my greatest concerns is that I’ll come to the end of my life—look back on it—and say, “Well, that was mediocre.” I want to live a life of excellence, and I’m sure you do, as well. If so, let’s consider together what it will take to pursue our God-given potential in this lifetime.

The word potential means latent possibilities. In other words, there lies dormant within each one of us undiscovered opportunities to know God more intimately and to make an eternal difference in the lives of others.

When my husband and I retired from 36 years in ministry, I could almost hear God say, “It’s time to fulfill your dream to become a writer.” However, I didn’t hear Him say, “Hang on for the ride of your life!” The following list of words should help you get the picture. *discouraging *mind-boggling *disappointing *exasperating *exhilarating *demanding *compelling *rewarding 

The most difficult part of my roller-coaster writing life has been the barrage of fears and doubts that have led me to question the nature of my faith. Why have I not been able to trust God concerning my desire to be a writer? Could it be because I’ve not been exercising positive faith? Over the years, God has confirmed in various ways His will for me to be productive with my writing. Why then has it been so difficult for me to think and act positively concerning the very thing He’s been leading me to do?

How can our faith be truly genuine if we refute it with unbelief? Faith that allows negative thinking can’t possibly honor or please God, for it’s an insult to His character, an affront to His promises, and a road block to the possibilities He has specifically designed for each of us.

Will you consider with me the probable effect our fears and doubts have on what we claim as faith? What will it take for us to break the cycle of negative thinking and begin to seriously pursue God’s best for us?

 Let’s begin by reflecting on the following tips to help us pursue our God-given potential:

  •  Know Your God. In order to pursue our fullest potential, we must first pursue God.  In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers says, “We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us.” God’s purpose lies in the process it takes for us to know Him and become more like Him. Reaching our potential is a by-product of His ultimate purpose for us, knowing Him. (See Romans 8:28-29)

 Are you willing to join me in ordering our priorities to give God quality time on a daily basis? Perhaps you’re thinking  the   demands upon you don’t leave any quality time to spare? Remember, there are enough hours in every day to do God’s will for that day. But how can we know God’s will unless we’re spending quality time with Him? Let’s agree to prayerfully set a goal to spend a certain amount of time alone with God every day. This is not a legalistic pursuit; it might be 15 minutes or an hour. We may miss some days altogether. This isn’t something we do to please God; He’s already pleased with us. It’s merely a way to discipline ourselves to pursue a deeper relationship with our God.

  • Know Your Gift. Our God-given potential will always spring from the utilization of our God-given gifts. When we received Christ, the Holy Spirit imparted to us spiritual gifts. (Resources to determine your spiritual gift – The Wonderful Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley and http://www.gifttest.org/ )

In Romans 12:6-8, we see a list of seven motivational gifts as Dr. Charles Stanley calls them. 1. Prophecy (By the way, this is not a gift of foretelling the future. Rather, it is ministering through the truth of God’s established Word)  2 Serving  3.Teaching  4.  Encouraging 5. Giving 6. Leadership/Organization 7. Mercy

Which one of the above do you enjoy most? Which one motivates you to minister to others?  *Are you compelled to speak God’s truth on matters of concern?   *Are you quick to see a need and to help others?   *Do you have a strong desire to study and teach God’s Word?   *Are you motivated to encourage others, to build them up?  *Are you especially blessed when you give  your resources toward a specific project, or to help someone?   *Are you adept at organization and leading others?  *Does your  heart ache as you reach out to help people in pain or in need?

You may say “yes” to a number of these, which is a good indication you’re in tune with God’s desire for us to be available to minister in all these areas. However, you may discover one gift especially motivates you to utilize the others. For example, I’ve learned through study and from others that my spiritual gift is encouragement. When I teach Bible studies or lead a meeting, I’m motivated by the fact that I want to encourage people in their walk with God.

Action Tips: 

*Consciously order our thinking and our actions as if we truly believe God wants us to succeed in the very thing He has put in our lives to honor Him and draw people to Him.

*Make a list of practical things we can do to verify our faith that God is leading us to pursue our potential.  For exampke, I could write:                                                                 

  1. Pray with with confidence .                                                                         
  2. Spend quality time with God every day before I write.
  3. Prepare projects for submission and send them out. If they come back rejected, send them out again.
  4. Set a specific amount of time to write at least five days a week.

Now, pray and write your own list.

                                                                                                        

Personal Note: On of the most fun and rewarding things I’ve done is to write this blog. I want you to know YOU are my catalyst and my encouragement. The fact that you’re reading my blog, and the comments I’ve received tell me I’m on the right track in my pursuit. I thank you for that. I’d love to hear from you on how God is leading you in your desire to know Him and to reach your God-given potential. Leave a comment, if you’d like.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Positive Faith Pursues Potential”
  1. Mary Beth Welsh says:

    Mom, once again spending Thursday morning with you adds a different layer to my time with the Lord. If you remember over Christmas one of the things I talked about was recognizing the need to actually spend more time doing what I strongly believe in, praying. I have purposed (recognizing that it is a choice and a step on my part) to spend that time daily with Him. Through this I have been thinking, and thought I would share it because it strikes me that “positive faith” is an integral aspect, about what happens when we get dementia or even when we are drugged out after surgery, basically when we are not in control. You always hear of how people act or things they say, sometimes not real nice or not seemingly in character with the person we know. I asked what I want to be like if that happens to me, realizing that we have no control over it at the time. I have always said I don’t want to be a bitter cranky old lady but what about the situations you can’t control it. My thoughts are that if we are spending time in the word, exercising positive faith, being more and more conformed to the likeness of Christ then maybe when that time comes and we don’t have control, He will and His likeness will be revealed not our sinful not so pleasant hidden for most of the time selves. At least that is my hope and prayer. Just some of my thoughts for the day.

    • Thanks, sweet #1 daughter for taking the time to delve into God’s work on your heart while reading my blog. That’s my greatest desire for writing it, to bring people (especially those I love) to a deeper relationship with Him. He works in and through each of us in unique ways. I know your gift is giving, but I also know God has gifted you in the area of prayer, which to me is the most challenging commitment we can make to God. You have blessed us in so many ways over the years but your prayers and giving have rescued us more times than any of can know. Thanks again for reaching into your heart and sharing it with me. Love you, Mom

  2. Sandy Aasen says:

    Liz: I recently have felt God putting his finger on me to start the Stephen Ministry at my church. While attending their leadership conference I realized (in the quietness of the dark night) that this is what He has been getting me ready to do next and this vision has captured my heart. Everything I had already experienced in life, (staff on Crusade, loss of a spouse, teaching, caregiving, being a church administrator, even some preaching) has been steps toward this. So I guess I am ready to go for my potential! However, what you shared about negative thoughts was revealing. I often feel insecure or think “This won’t work here”. I don’t want those thoughts to prevent me from what God wants me to do for him. Thanks for sharing the helpful tips!!! Sandy

    • Thanks my friend, for sharing what God is doing in your life. I agree the Stephen Ministry sounds like a perfect fit for you. You have so much to offer and I know God has great things in store for you.

      Love you, Liz

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