Living Out Your Full Potential
Potential means having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future; latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
Potential speaks to your future; that which is not yet accomplished. Having potential means there is more than you can do beyond what you’re currently doing or have done in the past. Potential can be referred to as dormant power, unleashed strength, reserved energy, undiscovered capacity, unused ability or hidden talent.
Seek to progress from potential to productivity. It is dangerous to remain stagnant in potential and never advance into productivity. Your current achievement is not the limit; as long as you are alive, there is more that God requires from you. Don’t settle or get comfortable with what you have already accomplished.
Everything God creates contains potential. God has programmed potential into every creation. Genesis 1:12 tells us that when God wanted the Earth to produce grass, herb, fruits, etc. He caused the Earth to produce what it possessed within. Fruits, herbs and grass weren’t created by seed falling from above, but rather by the Earth yielding. In the same vein, when He wanted to nourish the Earth, God caused water to spring forth from the Earth. (Genesis 2:6)
God wants a return on what He has given you. He expects you to develop your potential to the fullest and He gives you the keys to develop your potential. We are all born with talents, gifts and potential; potential that is not released cannot produce fruits. We must add value to our potential to produce an increase. As in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29, all the talents given had potential to increase but the one who added no value to talent, saw no increase. Like the master in the parable, God expects us to be faithful with the talents, gifts, and abilities.
As you aspire to employ and maximize your potential, beware of Potential Blockers; things that may prevent you from moving potential to productivity. Such impediments include:
People: this includes parents, other family members, friends, etc. People who speak into your life can block your potential with their words. As parents, let us allow our children to dream and not stifle their dreams and potential with our feedback and opinions.
Your environment: This includes the company you keep. Where you live can be the single most limiting factor in your life. You might be forced to think or accept that you are destined to live the same way or pursue the same career or have the same dreams as those you live with or around. Thus, you may never break through a certain barrier or limit to achieve and be who God means you to be.
Circumstances of your birth: When God appeared to Gideon and asked him to redeem his people from their oppressors, he responded, “ Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” Judges 6:15. Don’t despise yourself because of where and how you were born. God knew all of that and yet placed in you the ability to do great things and be greater than you are now.
Fear: Both Gideon and Moses nearly allowed fear to prevent them from yielding for God’s use.
Wrong Decisions: Samson is an example of how wrong decisions can affect a person’s potential and destiny. (Judges 13, 14 and 15)
Present circumstances: Moses felt unworthy to be used by God because of the circumstances he found himself when he encountered God. (Gen 3:11) ‘But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Don’t let sight (what you see) kill your potential.
To live out your full potential:
Know your source and stay connected to your source. God knows how much potential he has programmed into you and only He can help you fully develop it. Only God knows the full extent of your potential, and only God can help you fulfill it.
Have faith. Without faith you cannot develop your potential. You will face challenges, opposition and without faith you will give up.
Know your purpose. Your potential relates to your purpose; God has given you the potential to fulfill your purpose.
Place yourself in the proper environment. The right conditions are necessary to fulfill your potential.
Work your potential. No matter how great your potential, if you don’t diligently utilize it, it will yield nothing. Apply work to your potential. Cultivate it; study, talk to the right people, read, train. Intentionally work your potential. Your potential is not for safekeeping!
Overcome failure. Don’t let mistakes and failures along the way dissuade you from maximizing your potential. The lives of Paul and Peter show us clearly that mistakes cannot kill our potential if we don’t allow them to. You only fail when you quit.
Don’t get comfortable with your last or current success. Assuming you have achieved your full potential, when you haven’t will prevent you from achieving greater. Enjoy your success but seek to advance to the next level of growth.
Age is never a barrier. Moses and Caleb (Joshua 14:10-12) teach us that one is never too old to develop potential. May God be pleased with us all at the end of our lives because we lived and fulfilled our potential. Selah.