Realizing Your Potential
Duane Vander Klok
The Bible describes God as being “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20) and tells us that, with Him,“nothing will be impossible” (Luke 1:37). There is never a day when this is not true. He is always able to do far more than we could even think of asking Him.
Most of us tend to think too small, pray too small, believe too small and live too small. We believe the lie that “God may be able to do that for someone else, but not for me.” This kind of thinking limits what God can do in us and through us. It can also keep us from realizing our full potential in life.
Developing Your Potential
One definition of the word “potential” says it is “what you can do but have not yet accomplished.” If you aren’t careful, you can hear that as “reaching your potential is based solely on your own efforts.” Not true. It is about surrendering yourself to God and letting His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We can better define potential this way: Potential is how far you can go, not alone, but with God. You see, God loves you and has great expectations for you. When you develop and use what He has given you, whether you view it as big or small, you are developing the potential He created in you.
Here is what the Amplified Bible tells us in Ephesians 2:10: “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].”
God doesn’t expect you to do it by yourself. As you pray asking for His direction, take time to stop and listen (see Proverbs 3:5-6). Then, don’t be afraid to step out and do the things He tells you. Remember, He will never lead you to do something contrary to His written Word.
You Are Unique
God is into creativity and uniqueness. Think about it: every snowflake is different, no two people have the same fingerprints, and each of us has a unique DNA. He created only one “you,” and there will never be anyone else who can do exactly what He prepared for you to do.
On the earth, value is often determined by how readily available or how scarce something is. Gold and diamonds are valuable because they are rare. Likewise, since there is no one identical to you, you are unique and irreplaceable. You are of great value!
In Matthew 16:24-26, Jesus was talking to His disciples and said this: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
This passage is about surrendering to Jesus, but it is also about your value. Jesus is saying that every person has more value than the whole world. Why? Because the earth as we know it will pass away, but you will live forever.
God’s Opinion Matters Most
You cannot afford to allow past failures, the thoughts and opinions of others or even the devil make you feel devalued. Please do not let anyone or anything cause you to believe that your life does not matter or have a purpose. It is a lie. Do not believe it.
Consider this: if you have a $20 bill, it has most likely been used to buy alcohol or drugs. Actually, law enforcement officials say it is nearly impossible to find one that does not have traces of cocaine on it. Your $20 bill has probably been stolen a few times, used to bribe someone or used for other immoral, unethical purposes. However, its value is not determined by what it has been through. Its value was determined by its maker, the U.S. Treasury.
Likewise, your value is not determined by what you have been through. It was – and is – determined by God. The bad things that may have happened in your life do not present a problem for Him or disqualify you from reaching your potential.
Agree With God
You truly are worth more than this entire planet. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “…you were not redeemed with corruptible things like silver or gold…but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” All the world’s silver and gold would not be enough to redeem you. Only the blood of Jesus is precious enough.
Please hear and understand this: Jesus did not die to make you valuable. His death for you simply proved your value. On your worst day, you are still worth more than the whole world. You need to agree with God and see yourself the way He sees you.
Here is another thing God wants you to understand: you did not get your identity from your parents. You came through your parents, but your identity comes from God. Maybe you were not planned by your parents, but that is not the case with God.
God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5). God is the one who planned your entrance into this world, and He has good things in store for you. Please do not limit Him by trying to fulfill your destiny on your own instead of surrendering to Him.
Don’t Limit God
In Psalm 78:41, we are told that God’s people “limited the Holy One of Israel.” They saw Him split the Red Sea, and they walked through on dry ground. With their own eyes, they saw God drown Pharaoh and his whole army. They received provisions of bread from heaven every morning, and God even provided water from a rock. Though they had seen miracle after miracle after miracle, they limited Him.
How could that happen? Verse 42 tells us, “They did not remember His power.” God desired to do so much more for them, and He wants to do more for you, too. But just like the children of Israel, you can limit God if you do not remember and rely on His power.
It bears repeating that potential is how far you can go, not alone, but with God. You see, it takes faith to go where you have never gone before, to do what you have never done before. Faith connects you with God’s power.
Romans 1:17, in talking about the Gospel, says: “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘The just shall live by faith.’” Notice it says “from faith to faith.” No one can live on yesterday’s faith, and the faith you have today is not enough to get you where God wants you to go tomorrow. You have to go from faith to faith.
It is imperative that you have an ongoing relationship with God; one where you keep on connecting with Him and growing in your faith. We know from Hebrews 11:6 that, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
Just as it is impossible to connect with God without faith, it is also impossible to realize your full potential without faith.
There is not a person alive today who has not been gifted by God. No one but Him knows the potential – the untapped power, dormant ability and unused strength – that is inside you. This potential came in seed form. It needs to grow and be developed.
You will never ask God for more than He is able to do. It is time to start thinking bigger thoughts, praying bigger prayers, believing and living a larger life. It is time to surrender fully to Him, exercise your faith and realize your potential.
(All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated.)