Living Up to Our Potential

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands.  And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.  From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.   God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.  ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.  In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.  For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed.  He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

  • – Acts 17:24-31


Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?

  • – Hebrews 1:14


“I would love to say that self-esteem comes from repentance, restoration, and age, but even as an adult, I have continued to struggle with the tension between my potential and my performance.  When I married and my wife Suzanne and I exchanged the vows ‘for better or worse,’ we didn’t realize how much ‘worse’ we would endure.  In addition to my wife’s physical challenges, the church I started grew more slowly than any of my friends’ churches.  Although today we hold two services, we are far from the top hundred fastest-growing churches in America.

“I have often felt ordinary in a world of superheroes.

–          Dan Stanford, Losing the Cape


“No matter how insignificant he may have been before, a man becomes significant the moment he has an encounter with the Son of God.  When the Lord lays His hand upon a man, that man ceases at once to be ordinary.  He immediately becomes extraordinary, and his life takes on cosmic significance.  The angels in heaven take notice of him and go forth to become his ministers (Hebrews 1:14).  Though the man had before been only one of the faceless multitude, a mere cipher in the universe, an invisible dust grain blown across endless wastes – now he gets a face and a name and a place in the scheme of meaningful things.  Christ knows His own sheep ‘by name.’”

–          A. W. Tozer, We Travel an Appointed Way


Have you ever felt ordinary?  Why?  The Scripture above says that we are not just created in God’s image as it says in Genesis, we are His off-spring.  And for those who have salvation, the angels minister to us.  Those things are far from ordinary.


Stanford’s lament is a common one.  His wife’s medical woes include getting a disease that has left her legally blind.  He has had his troubles.  The key fallacy in his argument is the comparison to others.  His church may be smaller than the churches of his peers, but what impact is his church upon the community?  Who cares if a church has a thousand members, if the people in the church are not touched by God.


I was touched by Stanford’s words about ‘worse’.  My wife summarized our marriage, in one sense, recently when she lamented, “Don’t get me wrong.  I love you.  You were ‘the one’.  But you were also the smart one.  You had more potential to change the world than any other guy that I dated, but your intellect was either not recognized or your bosses feared your intellectual superiority.  …  Oh well, I can’t complain.  If I had not married you, I might have never met the Lord.”


That is the only comparison in this life that counts.  All other factors lead to things that we cannot take with us.  It is not a matter of making a difference in the lives of others, but it is making the ultimate difference.


I would like for my blog to grow in people viewing and commenting.  I track the numbers, but A. W. Tozer made the following statement about ‘numbers’ in The Set of the Sail.


“The emphasis today in Christian circles appears to be on quantity, with a corresponding lack of emphasis on quality.  Numbers, size, and amount seem to be very nearly all that matters even among evangelicals.”


So, I shall be content to be an ordinary blogger in the present world view.  I may make a typo here or there.  I may write something that misses the audience on occasion.  But I try to write from the heart, knowing that there are others who started out dreaming of the ‘better’ and, in comparison, might feel that they got the ‘worse’.


Let’s borrow Stanford’s theme, for a moment.  When we fall prey to Satan’s comparison scheme, it is like Batman lamenting that his Batmobile cannot go faster than the Flash, in low gear.  (Sorry, I had to add that ‘low gear’ comment 8for all you Little Nash Rambler {the Playmates} fans out there.  Beep-Beep!)  But don’t get this quote from Stanford out of context, the Tozer quote that follows the Stanford quote is more along the line of a summary of the Stanford book.  We are far from ordinary.


We have been given a divine charge to go to the corners of the earth and spread the Gospel.  One person’s corner may be Borneo.  Another person’s corner may be the corner of Fifth Street and Pike Street.  Billy Graham preached to millions.  God may want you to witness to one.


We may all think in worldly terms that our potential is not being realized, but if we trust in God and love Him with every fiber of our soul, mind, and strength, we must take God’s plan and run with it.


During my senior year of high school, it seemed everybody in the class wanted to go to Borneo and witness to the last one – the last among the elect, the last to be saved before Jesus comes again.  But who says the last ‘one’ lives in Borneo?  The last one may be at the corner of Fifth and Pike, waiting for you.


Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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