Sylvia Colville

Part 3 – The Resident Potential

I only got to see my daughter Tammy three days after she was born. Her entrance onto this world’s stage was rather dramatic. I was in ICU. She was in Neo-natal.

What a wonder it was for me to see her for the first time. She had been born two months early and was tiny. Perfect but so tiny. Still she was a fighter and three weeks later we were able to come home. Yay!

So excited. Yet when I put this tiny little person into her cot, I was suddenly so aware that I was her primary care giver now. I was responsible for her survival and not just that, I was responsible for her life. Not just for her life but she also needed me to help her thrive and that hit me so hard. There was no choice, she was completely dependent.

And of course, I am sure that every new parent feels the same way. We can all relate.

Today though, my daughter is 27 and married and is the most wonderful, capable young woman. Looking at her as a baby, there was no way that I could have known the potential that was resident in this little being. I am often in awe of the determination that accompanies the vision that God has imparted to her. The potential was always there. Unseen in the little baby, but written into her spiritual DNA by the Father.

In the same way, as a teacher of the word of God, I have the privilege to walk alongside the Father’s children as He guides them and grows them into the wonderful mature sons and daughters of the Most High God. He is completely strategic in all of His dealings with us.

And what is the resident potential in you and I? It is Gen. 1:26

He is determined that we become all that He created us to be. And that journey is not always without challenges. Like an elastic band, the Father needs to stretch us and stretch us until we are capable of far more than we ever realized.

Being comfortable and unchallenged is not in the plan. But in all things victory awaits us.

Therefore, it concerns me when I do not see growth in a Christian. And the growth that I speak of has nothing to with intellectual knowledge. It is the changed heart and mind that I am looking for. Real change. Christlikeness. Humility. A servant heart.

We have an enemy who does not want us to succeed.

But we have a Father who is going to make sure that we succeed! Amen? Amen!

It is the determination of our Father to make sure that we can clearly recognize the state of our own heart. Because it is out of our heart that the issues of our life spring forth (Prov. 4:23).

The life that you live is guided by (is the result of) what you truly believe.
We sing the song, ‘This is my desire, to honour you. Lord with all my heart, I worship You’. But what does that mean, ‘Lord with ALL my heart, I worship You’?

David wrote this in Ps. 51:6Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

God wants there to be absolute truth and honesty in the hidden parts, our spirit, and so in our spirit He wants to make us know His wisdom. Because in His wisdom, He will reveal the state of our heart, so that we can truly repent and not have a deceived heart.

James 1:22 – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

If I am a hearer only, I like what I have heard, I agree with what I have heard, I might even confess what I have heard, have discussions about what I have heard. But it is when I desire truth in the inward parts, in my spirit, and in humility I acknowledge my need and I have a desire for that to be changed in me, that God can write it upon my heart.

This is not something to be feared. It is Love, for God IS love, and because He is LOVE, He supplies us with the grace we need (why?) To come and help us in our time of need.

Heb.4:14-15 – Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in ALL points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

1 Pet.5: 5 – God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Understand this very important truth, it is humility that accesses the grace that we need.

James 4:6-8 – But He gives more grace. Therefore, He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 1:12-16 – Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

ALL temptation comes from the enemy. It is not a strategy that God uses to make you holier. His heart is absolutely clear in these scriptures. In the time of temptation, draw near to Me and I will draw near to you and I will give you the grace that you need to overcome. And when you have endured that temptation, I will give you the crown of life.

A crown is a symbol of authority. And eternal life is the life that comes from having known God.

John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

We know that this word knowing is the Greek word ‘Ginosko’, which speaks of the intimacy experienced between a man and a woman. The intimacy that brings forth life. And when that intimacy is with the Lord God Jehovah, then what is birthed in you is the God kind of life. Zoe life. It is Christ being birthed in you.

The crown of life is the authority that comes when Christ is being birthed in you.
(Remember the fruit growing on the branches, is the fruit that belongs to the vine.)
And it all begins with a heart of worship.
A heart of worship will always reveal itself.
It is our response as we become more and more aware of His Majesty, His holiness, His greatness, His long suffering and patience and unconditional love. And that response is known as the fear of the Lord. A reverence and an awe that makes you bow down in wonder at who He is. The fear of the Lord is the catalyst that leads to a surrendered heart and an obedient life.

It is this heart of worship, this surrendered heart, this obedient life that acknowledges the weakness we have come to recognize in ourselves and to clearly see and acknowledge our need for God to intervene, it is understanding this – that is the beginning of godly wisdom. And it is this posture – that unleashes the potential that He has blessed us with.

It was the difference between King Saul and King David. They were both anointed by God to be king. But their allegiance to God was very different.

When King Saul was anointed by God to be king, he enjoyed the favour and the blessings of God but he himself never knew what it was to bow down low in the presence of our God.

Consequently, everything was about him, his position of authority, his need to be the exalted one. Even in his worst failure, his lack of reverent fear was made known when he tried to justify his disobedience, by pretending that he had intended to worship God, by sacrificing as an offering, the very thing God had commanded him to destroy.
Saul is like the foolish virgins.

By contrast, David had learned to know God and wanted to please God with all his heart. For David, it was all about God. God was the exalted One. David knew very well what it was to bow down low. In his worst failure, he is desperate.

Ps.51:6-7, 10-17
V6 Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
V7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. V10 Create in me, a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
V11 Do not cast me away from Your Presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me V12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
V13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.
V14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God.
V16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. (In bringing an animal as your substitute for your sin, meant that there was no cost, no sorrow, no true repentance from you and we see this clearly when we look at what David says next.)
V17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise.

David is like the wise virgins.

The broken and contrite heart. Where is it? Do we see it in the church as a whole?

Is. 57:15 – For this says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.