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.
*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:
- Pray with with confidence .
- Spend quality time with God every day before I write.
- Prepare projects for submission and send them out. If they come back rejected, send them out again.
- 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.