Theology Thursday: Reversing a Limited Perspective of God’s Potential in Me

Weekly planner outlining 2023's potential

We all struggle with the tension between humility and pride, realizing our inadequacy on one hand and having a healthy self-esteem on the other. All people experience this struggle with our human potential, but Christians also struggle in the spiritual realm. We want to be used mightily in God’s kingdom, but we are constantly reminded of our limitations. We wrestle with verses such as: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you,” (Rom. 12:3, NIV). And we wonder, Am I living by faith? Am I trusting God as I should?

In This Article:

Strong Faith Is Not the Issue

At one point even the apostles asked Jesus, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you,” (Luke 17:5-6). Since it is clearly not the size of our faith that matters, it must be who it is we are trusting in. If we are focusing on our abilities and our strength of faith, then we are not focusing on Christ and his power.

In Philippians 4:13, Paul discloses his secret of being successful in every type of circumstance, “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” It is all through our relationship with Christ. His strength. His power. His grace. His love. His joy.

It’s Who You Know

Compared to the giant Goliath with all his armor and weapons, David was small with no armor and only a handful of stones and a sling; he didn’t stand a chance. But David had a hidden advantage that Goliath didn’t have — a relationship with the Creator of the universe. His faith was “in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel,” (1 Sam. 17:45). In reality, it was Goliath who didn’t stand a chance!

After speaking of God illuminating our hearts with the knowledge of his glory in Christ, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” David was like a clay jar filled with the power of Almighty God.

There’s a popular saying, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The point is that one’s connections with the right people will enable success in life. For Christians it’s Who we know that matters. When we have a relationship with God, like David we feel empowered because we know he is with us. How did David do this? He tells us in Psalm 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

But I Have Weaknesses

No one is perfect; we all have our frailties. The apostle Paul had a problem with his eyesight (Gal. 4:15; 6:11) and perhaps some other ailment – his thorn in the flesh (2 Cor. 12:7), not to mention the many persecutions and natural calamities he endured (2 Cor. 11:23-28). Yet he was able to say, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong,” (2 Cor. 12:10). In essence he was saying, “When I feel weak in myself, I am now inclined to be strong in the Lord.” This is because when all is going well, we are more likely depending on our own resources.

We sense some of this when we are going through a trial or a loss and find ourselves on our knees in prayer, seeking the presence of Christ more than usual. But this is merely a taste. This experience of realizing God’s power in the midst of affliction is familiar to many Christians in other parts of the world who daily endure severe persecution for following Christ. Many of these people trust God to the point of death and consider it a privilege to suffer for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Back to the clay jars metaphor, our frail human bodies are simple vessels that God fills with his Spirit and the light of Christ shining through with the life-changing truth of the gospel. This treasure is empowered by God such that he may work through us for his glory.

God’s Unlimited Resources

Our being faithful and available in our relationship with our Creator opens up unlimited resources. Jesus made this amazing promise: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father,” (John 14:12).

The point is that Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father “interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34) so that as we pray in his name according to his will, we know that he hears us and will answer (1 John 5:14-15). And here’s the kicker; there is a built-in safety factor. Even when we don’t know what to say or how to say it, the Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us through wordless groans,” (Rom. 8:26).

Just go to him “with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good…” (Ps. 100:4-5). Yes, that’s right, we need to have our own revival, our minds filled with his Word and our hearts yielded to his will, all covered with praise!

Our potential is not about ability or giftedness but it’s about relationship — our relationship with God. So just trust him and pray. He will lead in the direction we need to go. He will open the doors that need to be opened. And he will bless our efforts in Jesus’ name!

What else needs to be said? Oh yes…

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power,” (Eph. 6:10).

Interested in embracing God’s potential for you? Grand Canyon University can help you along your path with their theology and ministry programs offered by the College of Theology. Read more Theology Thursday and fill out the form on this page to learn more.


Approved by full-time faculty for the College of Theology on March 24, 2023.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.