Human Performance Potential

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(HPP Series, Part I)

Do any of the following goals resonate with you?

  • To be the best man that I can be.
  • To perform at the highest level at work.
  • To be the best husband and father I can be.
  • To love well and without conditions.
  • To move closer in my relationship with Jesus.
  • To fulfill a great purpose and leave a remarkable legacy.

If these are things you want to pursue, then I have good news for you. God, the Creator of the universe, wants the same things for you. God’s will for your life is that you would awaken your full potential and live a life of high performance.

What does that mean? I’m glad you asked.

Genesis 1:27 gives us a glimpse of what our Creator had in mind for all of humanity:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Pay attention to the words “subdue,” “dominion,” and “fruitful.” God created you for love and for relationship, and He has big plans for you to reign, rule, create, and thrive. The Creator of the universe handed us the keys to creation, essentially making us kings. To me, it is absolutely amazing to think that God wanted to put us in charge and gave us a job to do: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). If God loves us and created us for a purpose, doesn’t that imply that He give us all we need to thrive at our highest level?

However, Adam sinned, and the whole Bible tells us the terrible fallout that choice had on humanity. In effect, we handed the keys of God’s kingdom over to Satan and we went from thriving to struggling.

This all sounds hopeless, and it would have been if the Father hadn’t sent His Son to take back the keys to the kingdom and give us back our authority. As Pastor Bill Johnson says in Hosting the Presence, “Jesus not only died for us, He died as us. He became sin, our sin, so that we might become the righteousness of Christ” (pp. 42-43). In other words, we stepped away from the Father in sin, and Jesus brought us back to the Father. His victory is also ours.

Jesus, the Son of Man and Son of God, was the perfect representative of what man was supposed to be like. He lived out perfectly what the first man, Adam, failed to do. Matthew 28:18-19 says:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Jesus).  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Again, to quote Pastor Johnson, Jesus is saying, “I got the keys back! Now go use them and reclaim mankind.”

Now let me circle back to my original point. We were created for a life of high performance. Jesus has paid for our shortcomings and He wishes us to reclaim that which is rightfully ours, given through love from God. We are to reign, rule, create, and thrive.  Each and every one of us has amazing latent potential hiding inside of us and it’s time we start living like it.

This brings me to my next point. Recently, I read a book by Dr. Caroline Leaf, Who Switched Off My Brain?, in which she describes in great detail the meticulously interconnected systems of the spirit, mind (soul), and body of humans.  She presents research that shows the effect that toxic thoughts have on the overall health of our physical bodies (all the way down the cellular level). Conversely, she also examines and argues for the importance of good thoughts to the over all health of the human being.

It has been my experience working with combat veterans and athletes that human potential works on a sliding scale. In other words, our potential for performing at our highest level will change over time. Life experience can change our overall health in our spirits, souls, and bodies. For example, a soldier who lost a buddy during deployment may begin to struggle mentally and spiritually, which, as Dr. Leaf states through her research, may affect his body as well. Issues begin to surface like depression, lack of motivation, sleep issues, and sickness. This will cause performance to slip into the negative category and affect every area of his life (family, production at work, relationships, etc.). Therefore, it’s important that this soldier understands that his potential has “slid” a bit on the scale of its highest possible performance and he needs to work to enrich his being.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:7-8:

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

 

Jesus loves us and wants us to achieve our fullest potential. Yes, life can throw us curveballs, and some of those curveballs can seem like massive boulders that threaten to crush us. Satan sees the authority we carry and works hard to keep us from living it out. But Jesus gave us victory. One of the names for God is Jehovah Rapha, which means “the Lord our healer.” Jesus wants to help us realize our latent potential, which the enemy works hard to take from us.

So how do we engage our Savior in becoming high performers? We train! And here’s a plan for you to take with you.

  1. Please understand that you are a human being designed with a tripartite nature.  You are spirit, soul (mind), and body. Each of these natures is meticulously interconnected and works together in symphony.
  2. The mind is the battlefield. As Dr. Leaf says, “It is also true that the mind is a battleground, with ongoing conflict between toxic thoughts and good thoughts, thoughts that serve your mental and physical health well and thoughts that deplete your body and mind and health” (Who Switched Off My Brain?, 35). That means we must engage in that battle and not sit back. We must remember God’s original intent for us to bear fruit, subdue, and take dominion. He is in our corner and will help us through, but we must allow Him to be the general in the battle for our minds (see Romans 12:2).
  3. Seek—ask God for help and take time to search your soul with Him. What are your needs? Present them to Him in prayer. Converse with the God who created you and knitted you together for amazing potential.
  4. Adapt—Engage in specific training to increase your potential. If you are hurting mentally, get help. If you need to work on your relationship with Jesus, do it, and get help if you’re struggling. This is the training you need to adapt and bring yourself to a higher level of performance.
  5. Endure—Continue to get up every day with the goal of being better than you were yesterday. Train yourself in spirit, soul, and body. Develop a lifestyle that moves the sliding scale of high performance to the right and stay committed to it. Bring out your God-given authority and live a life of high performance.

As we continue this blog series in the coming weeks, we will discuss these action points in greater detail. Thanks for joining me on this journey!

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

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