Over the course of many years, I have talked to a significant number of people who are, for any number of reasons, growing stale in their spiritual walk of faith. These folks are not necessarily lazy, shallow, or complacent Christians, although this description fits some quite well. For the most part, these are fairly sincere followers of Jesus Christ who seem to have lost their spiritual momentum.
As I said, there are a number of reasons that a person might find himself or herself in such a state of spiritual doldrums. Time and space does not allow for a detailed listing of all the possible reasons that conspire to cause a well-meaning Christ-follower to stall out. Whatever the specific reason might be, in most cases it flows out of one of several sources: personal strongholds, imbibing too deeply of the world’s value system, or strategic and subtle attacks from the enemy or his minions.
Releasing your potential requires a willingness to move beyond the familiar into the realm of possibilities. . . . . . If you attempt new things and make choices that stretch your horizons, you will embark on an exciting journey. You will begin to see the marvelous being God created you to be – a being filled with more capabilities than you ever dreamed possible. The journey begins when you gain an understanding of what potential is and how you can release it. For once you understand the magnitude of the wealth God gave you, to turn from consciously and conscientiously unwrapping God’s gift is to abort your potential and refuse to fulfill the purpose for which He gave you life. The knowledge of what you have failed to use to benefit yourself, your contemporaries, and the generations to follow will judge you on the great day of accountability. Potential is given to be released, not wasted.
Like most significant aspects of the spiritual journey, whether or not we release our divine potential hinges upon our making a personal decision.
Once we truly come to understand who and what we are in Christ, as well as the magnificent gift God has placed inside of us, we are immediately confronted with a decision. Are we going to step forward, put our hand to the plow, and walk with boldness headlong into the destiny and the high state of being to which we are called? Or, like Jonah of old, are we going to take the first boat out of town? You see, it really boils down to that kind of fundamental choice.
No one can make the decision for us. It is our responsibility and it is wise to follow Christ’s advice: we need to count the cost. Taking on Jesus as Savior is one thing, taking him on as Lord is quite another. Our churches are crowded with many who have done the former but not the latter. In counting the costs, however, it is important to realize that by taking on Christ and walking in the life path he demands is the only way to truly realize the spiritual potential within us. The late Dr. Myles Munroe speaks cogently to this theme:
What lies behind you is history and what lies before you is future, but these are both tiny matters compared to what lies within you. You may not be able to change your past, and your future is yet unlived, but the present provides you with opportunities to maximize your life and the ability that lives within you. You must take responsibility for your ability….Are you living a stillbirth? Are you aborting your entire purpose for living? I encourage you to take responsibility right now for your ability. Determine to activate, release, and maximize your potential for the sake of the next generation. Leave your footprints in the sands of the history of your country. Live fully so you can die effectively. Let your life write the speech of your death and give your potential to the family of man for the glory of God. Remember “well done” is much better than “well said.” Don’t just talk about your potential dreams, visions, and ideas. Step out now and determine to do them. Dare to believe that you have already accomplished is but a minute percentage of what you can do.
It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past, nor does it matter how sin-stained you may think you are. It may very well be that some of the mistakes that you have made in the past are perfect prerequisites for the task to which the Master is calling you.
You may think you are a misfit, a malcontent or worse. And the fact is, you may very well be just that. Great. What that means is that you are the kind of person that God often chooses to carry forward his greatest plans. Moses, David, Peter, Paul – the list goes on and on – all had major weaknesses and defects of character. Still, scripture tells us of the ways in which God used each of them to further his agenda on this planet.
So consider yourself in good company.
© L.D. Turner 2015/All Rights Reserved