God Wants You to Be All That You Can Be (1 of 3)

Have you ever heard the saying: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"? I've heard it a number of times over the years since it's one of my dad's favorites. And it does communicate a truth about both horses and humans. I cannot make a person behave a certain way. I can try to encourage them or convince them to act in a particular way. I can even warn them of punishment if they don't, but ultimately the choice is theirs. Isn't that right? Parents, are you with me? Have you ever had a child who wouldn't obey you on a certain issue? No matter what punishments you come up with, they still have their own freedom of choice. Perhaps your child will choose to do what you want to avoid punishment or perhaps they won't. Do you see my point? No one can force anyone to behave a certain way.

Because this principle applies to everyone, it also applies to Christians. You can lead a Christian to water, but you can't make him drink. Christians should be thirsting (& hungering) for righteousness (cf. Matt. 5:6), but some aren't. We can encourage them to partake of the word of God, but we can't make them have an appetite for spiritual things. I can do my best to bring a Christian to the fountain of God's spiritual blessings, but ultimately that Christian will make his or her own choice, and he or she will certainly bear the consequences of those choices.

This three-lesson-series is about motivation: Be all that you can be! No, we're not going to be talking about the armed forces, just a motto they have used. And of course, we're restricting the context of that motto to spiritual matters. Christians, you need to be all that you can be for the Lord! My aim is for each and every one to realize that you alone are ultimately responsible for the salvation of your soul. Others can encourage you, provide reminders, and even warn you, but ultimately each Christian must be self-motivated and self-disciplined. Others can help by leading you to the water (so to speak), but no one can make you drink if you don't want to.

So, ask yourself the question: Am I being all that I can be for the Lord? Am I really doing the best I can for the kingdom of God? Or, can I do better?

When you study the book of Hebrews, you can see that there are five major warnings about failing to develop as a Christian:

  1. The first warning is found in Hebrews 2:1-4. The reader is urged to give heed, to listen to the word of Christ, otherwise he will drift away. Then the rhetorical question is asked: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation...?" You see, it is possible to neglect your salvation as a Christian. God doesn't want you to, but nonetheless it is possible.
  2. The second warning is found in Hebrews 3:7-4:13. The point of this section is that God has reserved a "rest" for His children (i.e., heaven, ultimately). However, many have gone on before us who did not receive their promised rest because of their unbelief.
  3. The third warning is found in Hebrews 5:11-6:20. It addresses the fact that some Christians had not developed sufficiently to be teachers as they should have been. Instead, they had regressed and were in danger of losing their blessings unless they went on to maturity. They needed to develop a healthy desire for the sincere milk of God's word (cf. I Pet. 2:2) and then grow to the point where they could handle the meat or solid food of the word (cf. I Cor. 3:1-4).
  4. The fourth warning is found in Hebrews 10:19-31. This deals with the need to continue to have access to God through the High Priesthood of Christ. It also warns about the dangers of willfully sinning by forsaking the assembling of the church.
  5. The fifth warning is found in Hebrews 12:18-29. It speaks of the danger of misunderstanding the nature and value of persecution and suffering. They were reminded to pursue peace and sanctification (12:14) and to avoid falling into fleshly lusts (12:15,16).

Why would the Holy Spirit issue these warnings? It must be because some were in danger of failing to be all that they could be spiritually! And this danger is real and present today as well, friends. If we are in the Lord's army but lazy, indifferent, materialistic, etc., then the devil rejoices. God does not want us to be stagnant or worldly but to achieve our full potential for Christ and in Christ. He wants us to be all that He has made us to be (cf. Heb. 2:10). He who has ears to hear, let him hear!