Last week, I asked you - are you living in aliveness? When you look at your life, have you been able to identify your unique gifts and talents - those things that set you apart, those things that come naturally to you, those things that make you special? He’s made each one of us unique and special, with special abilities to use for a specific purpose. We need to purpose ourselves to be aware and mindful and receptive to those unique things. That’s the first part of aliveness. And then we found that the second part is to become alert and attentive to what He’s created you to do. The culmination of all that you are and all of your life’s experiences will point you straight to your life’s purpose. This is where you’ll find aliveness. Not just being alive; not just existing in this world but coming alive. Exactly as God has created you to be - living in full, passionate aliveness.
So, now what? Now what do you do?
I’m going to suggest that there are just TWO things you need to do. Yep, just two.
The first thing you need to do is to become a possibilist. A what? A possibilist. It’s a word that was made up by professor and physician Hans Rosling in his book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World - and Why Things Are Better Than You Think written in 2018. I found out about this interesting word and concept in John Maxwell’s new book Change Your World when he introduced Rosling’s concept.
Maxwell quotes Rosling, who says, “People often call me an optimist and that makes me angry. I’m not an optimist. That makes me sound naive. I’m a very serious “possibilist.” That’s something I made up. It means someone who neither hopes without reason, nor fears without reason, someone who constantly resists the overdramatic worldview. As a possibilist, I see all this progress, and it fills me with conviction and hope that further progress is possible. This is not optimistic. It is having a clear and reasonable idea about how things are. It is having a worldview that is constructive and useful.”
So, basically, as John Maxwell put it, when you think like a possibilist, you are actively on the lookout for the possibilities in the world. One thing that I think that’s important that Hans Rosling points out is that he was able to see progress, see change, see something different, see something come to life somewhere before in his past, and it filled him with hope that it could happen again. That is was possible…again. And so he became a possibilist. Yes, I too believe this is constructive and useful. Especially if you’re a believer and you believe that change, that progress in your life was directed by your Heavenly Father.
So, what if you’re feeling stuck? You feel like you can’t move forward. They say that an object in motion tends to stay in motion, and an object at rest tends to stay at rest. It takes a lot more effort to get the momentum to get into motion than it is to stay at rest. I think of a car wheel stuck in a deep pothole. It takes a lot of rocking back and forth to get enough momentum to shove the car out of the hole. What if you feel like that car with your wheel stuck in a pothole and you can’t get out? How do you get out? How do you create enough momentum to get into motion? And in this case, moving in the direction of your full, passionate aliveness. Taking all that you are and all of your life’s experiences and living out your life’s purpose. Because remember, everything you’ve experienced in life up until this very moment has a purpose to be used in the world. Someone needs to hear from you. Someone needs to know what you know. You have something to offer someone in this world that no one else can.
And what is it exactly that you should be doing? Well, the possibilities are endless. And, as John Maxwell pointed out, those possibilities can be found when you are actively on the lookout for them in the world. So, what is the culmination of all that you are and all of your life’s experiences pointing you to? Is it to tell your story in a book? Or a song? Is it to encourage others in a support group? Is it to create something that simply makes others happy? Is it to start a non-profit that serves others’ needs? What is it? This is where you’ll find your aliveness. And the possibilities are endless. The world is full of amazing things happening and being created every day. Where is it that you’ll step in and bring forth your full person for something uniquely special for the world? Maybe it’s to help people get healthy. Or to paint uniquely creative works of art. Maybe you can knit and could make some beanies for the military or maybe a cancer patient whose just lost all their hair. Maybe you know how to fix cars and you decide to help widows keep their cars in tip top shape. Seriously, that should be a thing. Listen, the possibilities are endless. Decide today to be a possibilist and start actively looking for how you can bring the fullness of you into the world. The world needs you. It needs your talents, your gifts, your experiences, and even the hard things you’ve been through. It needs your perspective and your voice. It needs your aliveness.
Now, the second thing you need to do is to seek God’s plans for your life and trust that He is sending you into places for a specific purpose. He is the One giving you direction, opening up doors, nudging you by the Spirit towards it, giving you divine revelation and revealing things to you that you have not known or seen before.
In Galatians 2:2, the Apostle Paul was telling the church in Galatia of his ministry travels. And he told them that he went to Jerusalem to preach the gospel. He says he went by “revelation.” This word “revelation” in the Greek means a specific instruction concerning divine things before unknown, especially through the operation of the Holy Spirit. The Amplified Bible says that Paul stated, “I went there because God specifically and divinely revealed to me that I should go.”
So, here’s the deal. God is expecting us to seek His counsel. In the old testament, there are many passages that a prophet reveals God’s displeasure in the fact that His people, the Israelites, didn’t ask for His opinion or counsel or direction. In fact, in Isaiah 30:1 through the prophet, God says “Woe to the obstinate children,” declares the Lord. Now let me just stop here a second and tell you the word “woe” is really really bad. It is a statement of grief and denouncement, all in that one little word. God says, “Woe to the obstinate children, to those who carry out plans that are not mine.”
There are other verses where God is clearly upset with the Israelites saying You never asked for help in Isaiah 22, and in Psalm 107 suffering came because the people despised the plans of the Most High. So, God wants us to ask Him what HIS plans are for our life. He is Omniscient, He knows all things, so it makes sense that He knows what’s up ahead and He knows what’s best for us.
Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Psalm 127:1 says “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” We build…whatever…in vain because we don’t ask the Lord His opinion, what He thinks is best for us, where He would direct us, and sadly don’t ask Him to reveal all the possibilities that could lay before us that make us come alive. In Isaiah 5:21 here’s another “woe.” “Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
We desperately need to be asking God for His counsel, direction, and help. And if God expects for us to be asking, then you can be sure that He will answer. In Luke 11: 9-13 Jesus says, “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, of your son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” Your Heavenly Father wants to give you good things by the Holy Spirit. As you are asking for direction or help, seek and you will find.
So, friend, we need to be asking God where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do. We need to be asking Him to give us revelation by His Spirit, just like He did Paul, as to where we should be heading next. And then, as possibilists, we need to be actively looking for all the opportunities, the open doors, all the possibilities with which we could be using the fullness of who we are - with all our flaws, all our struggles, our individual and unique personalities, our talents & gifts, our life’s experiences, the ups, the downs, all of it - we need to take the culmination of who we are, and open ourselves up to God’s possibilities for us. He has a plan. It’s a beautiful, perfect, divine plan based on His perfect Omniscience. And He knows just how to get us there. Friend, won’t you step into your aliveness? Won’t you let Him awaken you to what’s next, as He leads and directs you there?
It’s possible to believe and to trust when we look back to see what’s been done before. Won’t you let that fill you with hope that it could happen again? That with God it’s possible…again? And thus became a possibilist.