There is a goldmine of potential hidden deep within every person, and you are no exception. When God created you and me, He breathed the breath of life into us and then placed a little part of Himself in each of us. We are created in His image and filled with His potential—a potential to do the seemingly impossible. BUT, how do we harness this potential—how can we turn possibilities into realities? First of all, we need to recognize what stands in the space between having potential and seeing it become reality, and that is time, determination, and hard work.
WHAT IS POTENTIAL?
Potential is “greatness that exists as a possibility but is not yet a reality.” In other words, a person who has potential, has all the necessary ingredients to he successful, but the ingredients have not yet been activated. It’s like knowing there is a huge vein of gold hidden in the earth in your back yard. But in order to get to it and fully benefit from its tremendous value, you have to do some deep digging.
The person with untapped potential needs something to motivate them to take action and bring to the surface the treasure that is within them. To a great degree, our God given potential is directly connected to our dreams and visions. God plants them in our heart, or spirit, as a seed in the form of a thought or desire. Over time, the seed grows as we feed it, being very careful to watch over and protect it from the enemy who is a master at stealing dream seeds.
When God called me into ministry, I desired to fulfill His call more than anything . I didn’t know where to start, much less finish, However, as God gave me anointed ideas and opened up doors of opportunity to serve, I stepped out in faith . I learned not to he afraid because the Lord promised to he with inc. I learned to stop looking at myself for answers and start looking to God. Each time, He provided me with the strength, wisdom, and ability I needed to be successful.
Drawing on God’s strength is essential.
You and I cannot fully develop our potential without the power of God at work in us. Therefore, we must learn to draw on Gods strength every day. Ephesians 6:10 says, ...be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your Him ] draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides] . From this verse, we arc promised that the Holy Spirit will pour strength into our inner man...our human spirit...as we spend time “in union,” or fellowshiping, with God.
Another familiar scripture describing the value of spending time with God and drawing from His strength is Isaiah 40:31: But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind
How do we spend time with God? It starts with a daily choice to he with Him. It includes things like reading and studying Scripture, singing songs of thanks and praise to Him, talking to and listening to Him in prayer, and then leaving an open line of communication with Him all throughout the day. Sometimes spending time with God is simply sitting quietly and looking at the things He has created. I love to sit and look at the colorful flowers in my yard, listen to the birds chirp, and see the wind blowing through the trees.
I can tell you there is nothing on earth that can offer the refreshing rewards of spending time with God. No relationship, no vacation, no amount of money, no job...nothing can even come close to the blessing of strength that comes from a relation-ship with Him.
Working hard is also important.
To achieve our potential, you and I must give it some form. Like wet cement, our potential must he poured into something in order for it to have shape and become useful. Think of workers putting in a concrete driveway in front of your house. If they did not use the proper wooden forms to outline the driveway, determining its dimensions and thickness, the concrete would be poured .unevenly, wind..up in areas it was not meant to he, and prematurely crack under the pressure of being driven on.
To develop our potential properly, we must have a purpose and a plan, and we must he doing something to fulfill it. These things are our “form,” and prayer must cover the whole thing... It takes hard work and solid ongoing decisions to bring form to our potential.
Many of. you. know of Deion. Sanders, the famous cornerback for the Atlanta Falcons and outfielder for the Atlanta Braves.. He is the only athlete to have hit a Major League home run and scored an NFL touchdown in the same week. Interestingly, Sanders grew up on the tough streets of Fort Myers, Florida, where he was exposed to some ‘would-be athletes that spurred him to make a success of himself. He explains: “I cll them ideas. ‘If I’da done this, I’d he making three mill-ion today......If l’da practiced a little harder, I’d be a superstar.’ They were as fast as me when they were kids, but instead of working for their dreams they chose drugs and a life of street corners. When I was young, I had practice; my friends who didn’t went straight to the streets and never left. That moment after school is the moment we need to grab. We don’t need any more Idas.”’
Like Deion’s childhood friends, I believe many people are unhappy because they are not doing anything to develop their potential. Don’t let this happen to you. Grab the moments you have—begin doing something with your potential. Remember, your potential is directly connected to your gifts and calling. If you are unsure of what your call is, start doing a few things in the area you are interested in....step out into what you feel God is leading you to do, and you will soon discover what you can and cannot do. You can rest assured that God will not call you to spend your whole life doing something you hate. He has handpicked and anointed someone for everything that needs to be done.
Experience the power of patience.
What does patience have to do with developing your potential? A lot. Without patience, you and I are going to fall short at developing and reaching our fullest potential. Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit that manifests itself in a calm, positive attitude. It is not the ability to wait; it is the ability to keep a good attitude while we wait. And according to Hebrews 10:36, you and I need patience so that we .....may be firm and fully accomplish the will. of .God...... Let mc illustrate with this story based on articles that appeared in the Houston Chronicle in 1997:
“Jell-O turns 100 this year and the story around its inventor is truly ironic. In 1897, Pearl Wait wore several hats. He was a construction worker who dabbled in patent medicines and sold his ailment remedies door-to-door. In the midst of his tinkering he hit upon the idea of mixing fruit flavoring with granulated gelatin. His wife named it Jell-O and Wait had one more product to peddle. Unfortunately, sales weren’t as strong as he’d hoped, so in 1899, Pearl Wait sold his Jell-O rights to Orator Woodward for $450. Woodward knew the value of marketing so within just eight brief years, Wait’s neighbor turned a $450,00 investment into a 1 million business. Today, not a single relative of Pearl Wait receives royalties from the 1.1 million boxes of Jell-O that are sold each and every day. WHY? Because Wait just couldn’t wait.
It sounds kind of funny, hut it is sad too. There are many people who are like Pearl Wait—they have the “goods” to really make it big and impact others. But their impatient attitude keeps them from enjoying the full benefit of their potential.
Just think of cooking a pot of stew. You could fill the pot with pure filtered water, fresh and vibrant vegetables, choice seasonings, and the finest cuts of meat available. All the necessary ingredients are in the pot to make an outstanding stew . But without time and the proper temperature, the ingredients will not cook properly. Only time and the proper temperature will allow the ingredients to cook and blend together to produce the rich-tasting, full-flavored stew desired,
The same is true with you and me. God brings tests and trials into our lives to develop patience in us. During the process, He is blending together all our ingredients, or potential, into a rich, full-flavored expression of Who He is. When you look at it that way, life becomes more interesting. I believe that is why James tells us to .....count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:2,3 NKJV). When we let patience have its perfect work, we are made complete and lack nothing.
God believes in you!
He believes in you so much that He has deposited a portion of His divine potential in you. Even if nobody else in the world believes in you, God does, and with that confidence, you can do whatever He wants you to do.
I encourage you to discover what your potential is and begin developing it. Don’t wait until all the conditions are perfect—do something now. Start cultivating the divine seeds of God’s ability in you. If you are not sure what they are, find out what you enjoy doing and have natural talents and gifts to do. Begin to train yourself in those areas.
If you know you can write great songs, stories, or poetry, develop your gift. Arrange your life so that you will have regular times to write and study the rules of grammar. If you know that you can sing, then practice, learn music, and develop your voice through vocal training. If you enjoy drawing or painting and have a talent in that area, set time aside to practice and learn about colors and artistic styles —and techniques . If you know you have a talent for business, an ability to make money, then study, go to school, and learn from those who are already successful at it.
Whatever your gift and calling, entrust it to the Lord, pray for His blessing, and begin to develop it. Remember, your times arc in His hands, and He makes all things beautiful in its time. Make a decision right now that you are not going to he satisfied with anything less than all you can be!
Enjoying Everyday Life
Published monthly by:
Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc.
Fenton, MO (800) 727-9673
Church of the Science of God
La Jolla, California 92038-3131
© Church of the Science of GOD, 1993