The Power of Your Potential
By Lawrence Powell
“I have great potential!” To say those words doesn’t imply that, up to this point, you’ve done nothing significant. It suggests that there’s more inside of you that needs to be discovered and released.
Very few of the world’s seven billion people are maximizing their full potential. Many people live ordinary, mundane lives when they could be doing so much more. The full extent of their potential is unrealized and remains untapped.
If you want to reach your full potential, you cannot become settled in the life you now live. Many people grow content. They don’t see anything beyond the “here and now,” and so the old adage becomes true: what you see is what you get. No more. No less. But there’s more in you than you realize.
Why are you here today? Could it be that, like Esther, you’re here in the Kingdom for such a time as this? What does God want to do with your life? What does God want to do through your life? Make that a matter of prayer. Have a little talk with Jesus, and He will reveal to you everything you need to know about you.
Some of what God reveals may not make you feel “warm and fuzzy.” It might be instructional and bring correction in your life: “I’ve called you to the ministry, but in order to get there, we’re going to have to work on your compassion-or lack thereof.” “We need to deal with your opinionated self. You need to learn how to tone down.” Whenever God shows you things like these, it’s not to hurt you; it’s to help you. Remember, trees and bushes are pruned to help them grow and blossom. God prunes you for the same reason: to help you grow and become all that you can be.
You’ve got a lot of growing yet to do. You have not arrived, friend! When we think we’ve arrived, we settle down…and, as Porky Pig says, “That’s all, Folks!” There’s nothing more for us to do. We’ve got “the American dream”-with the white picket fence around the four-bedroom house with the three-car garage. If you come to that place where you feel you’ve arrived, then you’ve missed it. Shake free from that deception! Paul said in Philippians 2:12, “It’s not that I’ve already arrived or obtained or have already been perfected, but I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.” In other words, there’s more to it: more growth, more development, more fruit to produce. Paul goes on to say, “Brethren, I do not count myself as having apprehended. But one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
What exactly is potential? According to the dictionary, the word means “that which is possible” or “that which is capable of being but is not yet in existence.” It refers to something latent. Potential is essentially dormant ability — hidden talent, untapped strength, unused success and capped capability. YOU have potential.
The late, great Dr. Miles Monroe taught that potential is not what you have done; but what you can do. Not what is, but what could be. I learned from Dr. Monroe that what you’ve done so far is not your potential. But what is yet inside of you, eager for expression — THAT is your potential!
Here are five key points about potential:
1) Everyone has potential.
2) You were created by God and given potential to be used for His glory. Everything that you have belongs to God: Your time, talents and treasure.
3) Your potential lies in who God created you to be, not only in what He’s created you to do. So your potential is more than what you were called to do; it’s who you are called to be.
4) God alone knows the extent and the limits of your potential. While we can learn from one another, remember this: No one can be better at being you than you! While we should glean from one another. But while we can be mentored, coached, encouraged and influenced, please understand that you have been given a specific task. There is something unique to you. You may be an eye in the Body, better at seeing than hearing. Or an ear, better at hearing than seeing. Whatever the case, we need you! The world needs what God placed you here to do.
5) You can only discover, understand and release your full potential with God’s help. You cannot do it apart from Him. You will not get insight, except from God. You will not find the ability, except in Christ Jesus.
Do you know where the wealthiest spots on this planet are? They’re not in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia or the gold mines of South Africa. The richest deposits on our planet lie in the local cemeteries. Buried beneath the soil of those sacred grounds are songs that were never sung, books that were never written, paintings that never filled a canvas — ideas that never became reality. Sadly, our graveyards are filled with potential that was never fulfilled.
Some years later, Miles Monroe challenged us, as the people of God, to die empty. Don’t you dare leave this planet without emptying yourself of everything that God put you on earth to do!
Your calling may not be behind a pulpit-it may be in education or business. It may be in the medical profession or athletics. It may be in the world of entertainment. But whatever your calling is, die empty!
Here are some additional things I’ve gleaned from Dr. Miles Monroe:
You must know your source: That’s where you discover your potential and purpose.
You must understand how you are made and designed to function: Much like a manufacturer knows what a product is for and how that product is to function.
You must know your purpose: As every product exists for a specific purpose, so you too have an original intent.
You must understand your resources: Manufacturers provide access to necessary resources for the proper maintenance and operation of their products. Resources and provisions help sustain the product while its potential is being maximized. God provides us with tremendous material and physical resources to sustain and maintain us as we realize, develop and maximize our potential.
You must have the right environment: Environment consists of the conditions that have a direct or indirect effect on performance, function, and development. For instance, I wouldn’t take financial advice from someone who doesn’t know how to manage money. I’d learn from someone who does. Likewise I wouldn’t get medical advice from a truck driver. If I need to haul some items, I’ll call the truck driver. But if I need medical help, I’m going to seek out a specialist.
My friend, you have so much potential! Right now you’re being equipped and empowered for great things. But remember: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Don’t be afraid to take that step. God is with you the whole way!