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How to Reach Your Full Potential for God

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

The person who has recently lost a spouse

The person who has been released from a job

The person who has retired

The person who is about to be married

The person who will soon become a parent

We all need to ask God repeatedly and frequently, "What did You create me to do and be? What have You planned and purposed for me?"

Five Key Principles about Your Potential

The Word of God presents five key principles that are vital for our understanding of potential:

  1. Every person has potential -- no matter how much you may have achieved already, and no matter how old you are. There's still more God has for you to be and do!
  2. Every person has been created by God to bring Him glory. How do we accomplish that? By being the people He made us to be, as individuals and then collectively as His church, and by fulfilling His purposes for us on earth.
  3. No one can reach his potential without the Father's help or apart from our God-given talents and gifts.
  4. No person can reach her potential without factoring in the spiritual dimension associated with potential. God has not only created you with the gifts and talents to do His work on this earth, but He also has created you with the desires, dreams, and disposition to become a person with whom He enjoys fellowship and spiritual intimacy. Part of your potential lies in who God made you to be, not only what He created you to do.
  5. Only God knows the limits of your potential. You are finite and do not have the ability to fathom all that God has purposed for you No one can fully understand the depths of His love, the help that He desires to give, or the blessings and rewards that He has prepared.

A person may reach the pinnacle of a profession or be lauded as the best in the world at a particular sport, skill, or craft. He may rank at the top of any number of the world's scales or criteria of evaluation. But unless he factors God into his life and seeks to love and serve Him wholeheartedly, he has not reached his full potential. He has maximized only his outward abilities and not his inward attributes.

Your Potential Includes Both Attributes and Abilities

The difference between abilities and attributes is worth underscoring.

Your attributes are your character traits -- they are the real "you" that exists regardless of external circumstances. They are the "you" that shows up no matter where you go or with whom you associate. The Bible gives us a very good description of the character that God desires to see in each of us. The apostle Paul wrote that it is the Father's purpose to conform us to the image of His Son Jesus, so that we might reflect Christ's nature and character to the world around us. (See Romans 8:29.) That character is summarized in another of Paul's writings as being marked by "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, (and) self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23).

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