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How to Reach Your Full Potential for God

By Charles Stanley | Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Text: Psalms 139:13-16

Are you excited about your life? Or do you feel as if you are merely existing?

Are you moving with confidence toward a desired goal? Or do you feel as if you are drifting along from day to day without any sense of purpose or direction?

Perhaps there was a time when you were excited about your life, but now the excitement has faded, and you are asking, What has happened to me? Why am I so apathetic about my life? What happened to my inner drive?

People have said to me, "When I look at my life and the way the world is today, I just don't see much to be excited about."

Some think about their vocation or job and say, "I can't go any higher, do any better, or go any farther. I can't do more than I'm doing right now."

Others feel as if their lives have gone stale. Perhaps their marriage isn't as dynamic as it once was, or they have lost all interest in hobbies and activities that once gave them pleasure.

Some people tell me that they feel inadequate or unprepared for the future. Still others say that they feel plagued by their lives -- stuck in their circumstances wondering, What's it all about? What is my life worth? What happened to my joy?

There are reasons we feel stuck, discouraged, or adrift.

There are reasons people lose their enthusiasm for life.

There are reasons God's people lose their hope, their sense of purpose, and their joy.

There are reasons life becomes just one long bore.

In my opinion, the foremost reasons are: (1) people have lost sight of who God made them to be and what He designed them to do; and (2) as a result, people are not actively, intentionally, and purposefully pursuing what the Father has planned and desired for them.

If you truly want to pursue and reach your full potential, then you must face up to these two truths:

Truth #1: God has placed more within you than you realize.

Truth #2: You likely have settled for the life you have now.

Are You Living a Settled-for Life?

Through the years, I have met countless people who are living what I call a "settled-for life." Someplace along their journey, they became complacent and content in their circumstances. They settled for what they believed was adequate or satisfactory.

A friend reminded me recently that several decades ago, children in the earliest grades of school were given one of three marks for their achievement: outstanding, satisfactory, or unsatisfactory. Children frequently compared their results, telling how many O's and S's they received from their teacher. They never bragged, of course, about any U's. For most children, getting an S for satisfactory was just that --satisfactory. S might also stand for "settled for." If a student becomes content with a satisfactory effort, he will rarely apply himself to earn an O for outstanding.

The same is true in life. If a person becomes content with what is average, minimally acceptable, or satisfactory, she will rarely exert the effort or work toward something truly excellent or outstanding. In the vast majority of cases, the longer a person remains satisfied with a string of S marks in her life, the more she becomes complacent about life. Going through the motions to achieve satisfactory results becomes the norm.

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