Previously Unknown Opportunities And Unused Potential

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Perhaps our biggest regret is not for things we have done but rather for the things we’ve failed to do. . .or didn’t even try.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin once said:

“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”

The Lord keeps directing me to talk about discovering previously unknown opportunities and tapping into previously unused potential.

There’s a reason why God wants us tapping into what we’ve never utilized or maximized.

God created us. . .He knows the potential living within us. . .He knows what we’re capable of. . .He knows the destiny awaiting us. . .if we seize the moment.

God also knows the best way to experience previously unknown opportunities is to expect them.

I’ve discovered in my life that when I expect to find unknown opportunities or doors to open. . .they do. . .regardless of my circumstances.

Sir Francis Bacon said:

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.”

And yes, we will search for these opportunities even in the midst of the storms of life.

There will be times in life when our reaction to adversity will determine the opportunities we receive.

Jacob worked for his father-in-law Laban who was crooked and conniving.  It’s interesting the first three letters of conniving is “con.”

Even in the midst of a conniving work environment. . .Jacob never wavered. . .he expected God to take care of Him and He did.

Jacob continued to do the right and honorable thing even if his boss and relative didn’t.  Jacob stayed strong in his faith and obedient to God.

If you want unknown opportunities to come your way. . .you must stay faithful even in  seemingly unbearable circumstances. . .Jacob persevered and God honored him with His favor and wealth.

Genesis 31:6-9 says:

“And ye know that with all my power I have served your father.   And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me.  If he said thus, the speckled shall be thy wages, then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, The ringstaked shall by thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstaked.  Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me.”

Because of his faithfulness. . .God took the wealth of Laban and presented Jacob with the opportunity for greater wealth.

Genesis 33:10 in the Message Bible reveals Jacob’s godly attitude and his subsequent reward when he is confronted by his brother, Esau:

“Jacob said, "Please. If you can find it in your heart to welcome me, accept these gifts. When I saw your face, it was as the face of God smiling on me. Accept the gifts I have brought for you. God has been good to me and I have more than enough." Jacob urged the gifts on him and Esau accepted.” 

Regardless of your circumstances at the moment. . .when you remain faithful even in the midst of adversity. . .God will bring opportunities your way.

However, we need to expect opportunity to come our way.

And, yes, there will be moments where despite our best efforts we don’t at first succeed but in those moments. . .we never give up. . .we never give in to self-pity. . .we never back up or away from what could be our golden opportunity. . .and we most certainly, don’t walk away from an opportunity for greatness.

Michael Jordan, who in my opinion is the greatest basketball player who ever lived, once said:

“I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

When God looks inside of us. . .He doesn’t see the failures of the past. . .but rather the potential for our future.

He sees potential in us. . .we’ve never seen or didn’t even know we have.

Let me ask each of us two questions.

Do we think God can create amazing opportunities where they didn’t previously exist?

Do we think. . .God has unlimited potential?

The answer to both questions is:  “Yes, absolutely.”

One more question. . .do we believe the Word of God? 

“Of course, we do.”

Genesis 1:26 in the Amplified Bible which says:

“Then God said, “Let Us (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) make man in Our image, according to Our likeness [not physical, but a spiritual personality and moral likeness]; and let them have complete authority. . .”

The Living Bible in Genesis 1:26 says:

“Then God said, `Let us make a man—someone like ourselves, to be the master of all life upon the earth and in the skies and in the seas.”

It’s time we seize previously unknown opportunities and tap into previously untapped potential.                                                                                                    

I wasn’t the best student in high school or college.

If you went to college. . .you may have had a similar experience to mine.  I had a history professor with whom I had a great relationship explain to me the honors associated with a college graduate.

I will always remember what he said:

“Some people graduate sum cum laude, some graduate magna cum laude or cum laude . . .but Harold, you’re going to graduate “thanks da Lawd.”

We both laughed but he spoke the truth.  For me, my college career was a necessary stop on the way to my political destiny.  However, all of that was “BJ” (Before Jesus.)

For years, I saw myself as an average person. . .but when I got into the Word of God. . .He begin to bring out abilities and attitudes in me. . .which began to maximize my potential.

Gideon never saw His potential until an angel told him that he was a “mighty man of valor.”

Judges 6:12 says:

“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”

God saw a potential in Gideon he didn’t even know existed in himself. . .as he had a poor self-image.

Judges 6:15 in the Message Bible says:

“Gideon said to him, “Me, my master? How and with what could I ever save Israel? Look at me. My clan’s the weakest in Manasseh and I’m the runt of the litter.”

As Gideon became faithful to God’s direction. . .he was able to tap into a potential he never knew was within him until God showed up.

After 40 years on the backside of the desert. . .when God told Moses he would be the deliverer of his people. . .he questioned his own potential for leadership because. . .he had become disheartened over the opportunities of his past. . .which seemed lost to him forever.

Exodus 4:10 in the New Living Translation says:

“But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

When it comes to your potential for success or leadership. . .don’t look at your abilities but rather what God can do through you. . .as a yielded vessel.

Exodus 4:11 in the New Living Translation says:

“Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?”

When you follow God’s direction. . .you’re able to tap into a potential you never knew you had like Gideon. . .or claim a potential for success you may have thought died in the desert of your dreams. . .like Moses.

God sees a greater potential in you than you’ve ever seen in yourself.

I strongly encourage everyone hearing our voices today. . .to spend an hour. . .thirty minutes. . .even fifteen minutes in your quiet place. . .asking God to reveal the opportunities before me.  

“But Brother Harold, what if He doesn’t reveal anything to me?”

Two things. . .

First, get off the but. . .stop saying “But this. . .But that.”  Instead, press into His presence and His Word.  Remember, you have the mind of Christ so you already have an invaluable asset working on your behalf.

Second, it nothing else but having quiet time in His presence you win.  Such time will strengthen your faith and encourage your efforts.

Here’s what I know. . .if you continue in His presence with an expectation. . .previously unknown opportunities will be revealed to you as you begin to tap into previously untried potential. It will eventually come about.

Abraham Lincoln said:

“I will prepare and someday my chance will come.”

Prepare now. . .your opportunity is coming.