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Reaching Your Full Potential

Dr. Charles Stanley


Reaching YOur Full Potential


The world may not recognize your potential, but the Lord does. He loves you unconditionally and wants you to discover His unique purpose for your life. God’s process of perfection has two facets:

1. Teaching and Guiding

“Tutoring” is one aspect of the Father’s perfecting process. In many ways, the Holy Spirit is your teacher, and the Bible is His textbook.

Before Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, the law was in effect. God designed it to instruct mankind—to provide a moral boundary and to serve as a “tutor to lead us to Christ” (Gal. 3:24).

Furthermore, we were all given an additional gift: the conscience. Romans 2:14-15 tells us that the Lord created the conscience to teach each person what’s right and wrong. In this way, even those without access to God’s commands would be “a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them.”

But after a person becomes a Christian and starts growing in faith and knowledge of the Word, God applies the law to his heart. The Holy Spirit will call to remembrance what the Bible says, or He will send people to teach or bring God’s commandments to mind. He also helps the believer understand scriptural principles and reveals the Father’s purpose and desires. You will never outgrow your need for the Spirit.

The law tells you that you must obey. And the Holy Spirit gives you the desire to do so. He works in your life continually to nudge you in the right direction. And like any good educator, He will test you to reveal areas of weakness and growth. The Spirit already knows your heart and how you will respond. The test is for your sake. God wants you to know yourself better.

2. Discipline

Another way God leads us to our full potential is through failures and struggles. In allowing free will, the Lord gave you the freedom to fall short of His purpose for your life—to fail, make mistakes, or sin. But through these shortcomings, the Holy Spirit can mold you into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Many people set unrealistic goals and, when they fall short, have a sense of worthlessness. Others decide on objectives but then never put them into a workable plan. When their goals aren’t met, they can feel frustration and self-doubt. God, however, has no responsibility to help people reach man-made targets. If you and I don’t allow Him to help us set goals, the Holy Spirit may rebuke us so that we choose to be guided by His will rather than our own.

Mistakes are innocent wrongdoings. In making a blunder, we have not willfully chosen to do wrong, although our actions may have terrible consequences. This does not diminish the pain mistakes cause. The Lord allows these types of errors as part of the teaching process. Ultimately, our goal should be total reliance upon the Holy Spirit for guidance in day-to-day decisions and activities.

Sin, on the other hand, is a willful act of disobedience against the Father, and it separates us from fellowship with Him. The Holy Spirit will prick our conscience with an ever-sharp needle until we acknowledge our rebellion. He will convict us repeatedly and with increasing fervor so that we might turn from wrongdoing and back to the Father.

Falling short of our potential means missing God’s unique destiny for our life. Perhaps we don’t recognize what the Lord has created us to be, or maybe we resist cooperating with His plan—through neglect, lack of effort, or outright rebellion. The Holy Spirit is never satisfied with some human preference for the status quo. He draws us to the full perfection of Jesus Christ and the hope of a bright tomorrow.

Your True Destiny

So, how do you reach your full potential? The answer is simple—it must begin with handing your life over to Christ. Through teaching and discipline, the Lord molds and perfects us for His purposes. The Holy Spirit works in our lives, changing us so that we will accept and follow God’s will.

When you truly grasp the Lord’s commitment to helping you fulfill your destiny, hope is inevitable. Rekindle your passion today by regaining sight of your God-given capacities as well as His promise to develop them. Our heavenly Father is in charge of fulfilling the potential He has given you—trust Him to do exactly that.

Adapted from “Discover Your Destiny” (1997).

(Copyright 2011 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.)