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.”
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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.
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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.
Eventually the person who has settled for a “settled-for” life may actually feel threatened by challenges to achieve, have, or experience more than what is presently the reality of her life. Ultimately she turns her back on her future and refuses to hope for more, seek more, or pursue more.
If that is where you are today, I encourage you to begin to see yourself the way God sees you. When you look at yourself through His eyes, you will no longer rest on the satisfactory marks of your settled-for life.
How God Sees You
You may be asking, “Well, how does God see me?”
Your heavenly Father sees you through eyes of love and forgiveness. He sees where you are, but — more importantly — He sees the person He made you to be. God sees all the awesome potential and possibilities He created you to fulfill.
And if you are willing to discover and align yourself with His plan and purpose for you, He will bless you more than you could ever imagine. God promises to bless you with life at its best. He sees the restored joy, peace, and sense of accomplishment that He wants in your life.
Psalms 139 is a wonderful passage that speaks to us about the way the Father sees us.
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them (Psalms 139:13-16).
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These verses from God’s Word speak of three important truths about the way He sees you.
1. You Are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
In God’s eyes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Other translations of this verse from the earliest versions of the Bible use the words “awesomely wonderful.” That’s what the Father says about you. He has made you in a way that is awesome.
In the first chapter of Genesis, God says again and again that what He made, Is “good.” Everything the Creator made was, at the outset, perfect in its form and in its function. It was beautiful, ordered, and magnificently connected to all other aspects of creation. It worked exactly as He intended it to work.
But after the fall, both form and function became warped. Each of us was born into a sinful world that isn’t always beautiful and doesn’t always work well or harmoniously. Nevertheless — and this is a vital point for you to understand — God said about your creation, “It is good.” the Father made you for good purposes, and He made you with the potential to be perfected by His Spirit. That means that He desires to engage in the process of transforming you from the inside out so that you are continually being molded into the most God-beloved, Christ-honoring, Spirit-yielded person you can ever be.
The Lord has a great plan for you and created you to accomplish it in His name.
2. God Knows Everything about You
The psalmist wrote, “Your eyes saw my substance.” Your substance is more than your flesh. It is the sum of all your natural gifts, talents, dreams, personality, and abilities. Even before you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God saw you as a whole and unique person. He made you one of a kind, and from your beginning, He saw your ending. The Lord has always known what you could be and do, because He is the One who created you.
3. God Is the Author and Finisher of Your Days
The psalmist wrote that the days of his life were “fashioned” for him. You too were born at a particular time and to a particular family in a particular location. He made your life a set number of years in a set environment so you could be and do all that He created you to be and do.
Every person is born into circumstances with both good and bad aspects. Each of us will encounter a degree of evil and righteousness. We all will face the realities of death and life. God created you, equipped you, and then filled you with His Holy Spirit, to face situations and that, with His help and guidance, you will transform from death to life, evil to good, and bad to best.
Your purpose on this earth is to develop your God-given gifts, talents, and abilities to the best of your ability so you can impact the world around you for Christ.
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If you have ever wondered why you are on this earth, understand that God has placed you here as a unique person with a unique mission aimed at establishing and extending His kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven.” Your potential lies securely and completely in that purpose.