What is needed in our life to propel us toward our potential and destiny in Christ? What are the qualities or essential ingredients which contribute to realizing all God has prepared for us to walk in? I was reflecting on this question today and I came up with the following list. I don’t claim this list to be exhaustive in any way, but I do feel the qualities listed represent a great starting place for consideration. Let’s take a look at what I came up with.
Our focus is what has our attention. What is the aim of your life? How clear is that aim or purpose? If we aim at nothing, we will more than likely hit it. For me that focus includes both a being and doing component. I am called by God in Christ to enjoy him forever and to re-present Jesus to others in a way that is unique to how he wired me. I also have an assignment from God that is unique based on how he has graced my life with talents, strengths, dreams and desires. The more laser like this focus, the more successful we will be at realizing it.
- Right thinking
Truth needs to shape and govern my thinking patterns. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. What we think (believe at the level of where we live life) is directly linked with the outcomes we can expect in life. There are four areas we need to have our minds renewed in relation to truth. They are what I think about God, what I think about myself, what I think about others, and what I think about life and this world in general (my world view). Jesus said the truth would set us free, and he is the Truth.
Faith is the backbone of our relationship with God. Weak faith creates spiritual paralysis and makes us unable to navigate within the Kingdom of Heaven. In order to move toward the fullest expression of our destiny in God we must trust his goodness, his plans and desires for our life. He really does have our very best in mind all the time and what he says can be trusted.
- A teachable heart
A teachable heart is pliable and shapeable by truth. It is the opposite of a hard, indifferent, prideful or embittered heart. It welcomes new or different perspectives that represent truth it has not heard or understood before. It is a heart that is open to truth no matter the source, takes it in and is impacted and transformed by it.
- True humility
Humility, like many qualities is best modeled than defined. I use the word “true” humility because there is such a thing as false humility. Simply feeling lowly or poorly about our self is not the quality of humility. True humility can be defined as knowing who I am in light of who God is. My feeling little around others is not humility; it is the inverted side of pride. Living out my life in light of the truth that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Uncreated Creator of all things is the essence of humility.
Hunger is a deep inner longing, a passion that provides inner motivation. It is the fuel that keeps us moving toward the focus of our life. There are all sorts of reasons for people doing things, but the strongest and most sustainable motivation is intrinsic motivation – a motivation that comes from within, from the desires of our heart.
Being thankful in all things is an act of faith operating from right thinking about the goodness of God, his blessings, and his ability to create good out of any and all circumstances. A thankful heart arises out of confidence in the greatness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and love of God toward us in everything. In essence, it is the act of coming into agreement with the truth of who God is and the place we hold in his heart.
Courage is the capacity to take action in risky and challenging circumstances. It is the quality we all need to step out of our comfort zones and do those things we either know are right or are needed to move us forward. Courage is not the absence of fear but rather doing what needs to be done in spite of fear, and in so doing courage overcomes fear.
Not much of any significance is ever accomplished without this attribute. Perseverance is the ability to see something through all the way to the end. I know of no shortcuts or straight lines to our destiny. Reaching our potential and destiny in Christ is a journey over the course of our life and we have much need for this quality to see us through to the goal.
This is a word that emerged on the forefront of my life a number of years ago. It’s not that I had never been intentional about anything, but God highlighted this word to me in a new and fresh way. I realized that there were areas of my life where I had a caesura sera (whatever will be will be) attitude. I was not approaching those areas of my life intentionally. As a result I was not getting the results I wanted from them. I have come to learn that being intentional is a very important ingredient in seeing positive movement and change happen in any area of life.
Unfortunately, discipline has received a bad rap in many circles today, and that perhaps for some good reasons. However, it is discipline and a good work ethic that put legs to our dreams and gives shape to our passions. Discipline provides the scaffolding that helps build our potential and destiny. It can come in many shapes and needs to be tailored to our unique behavioral styles, but without it the hard work part of moving forward will not get done.
- Nurturing environment and relationships
Reaching our potential and destiny in Christ is not a solo endeavor. It requires the graces of others and a grace-filled environment for us to fully develop and flourish in life. We all need the qualities listed above fleshed out in others to encourage, instruct, model, provide accountability and feedback, add to and impact our life in positive and helpful ways. Who we are walking with and allow to speak into our life is of absolute importance to the shaping of who we are becoming.
- The presence of God
I mention this one last because at once the presence of God is both the means as well as the aim of our development in Christ. We were made by him and for him. It is within the context of an intimate, up close and personal relationship with God that our full potential is realized. In him we live and move and have our being. As we abide in Christ, fruit, more fruit and much fruit is the natural result. God intends that our lives are lived and unfold from a place of rest, trust, joy and peace. In his presence is fullness of joy.
As I mused over this list I realized I possess and have experienced these ingredients in my life to a measure. But there is so much more room for growth. If these qualities are essential for us to reach our potential and destiny in Christ what might God be doing in the various situations and circumstances of our lives to grow them?
What qualities on this list might God be highlighting for you in this current season?
How can you partner or cooperate with God as he is growing those qualities in your life?
What other qualities or essentials would you add to this list?