BY PASTOR T. O. BANSO
Life is too short to be wasted. It is too important to be underutilized. Making maximum impact in life is the best attitude to adopt. Maximum impact is equal to life maximization.
Life for you should not just be how long but how well. You should aim at making maximum impact in life. Don’t just pass through life; make your mark in the quicksand of time. Time and tide wait for no man. Do not be a mere passerby in life; maximize your life.
Many have been curious to ask, and rightly so, what Methuselah did other than bearing children though he lived 969 years! (Genesis 5:25-27). Be a blessing to your generation – live out your full potential.
I want to share with you what you need to do to make a maximum impact in life. Without these ingredients, one can never make maximum impact in life. What are these ingredients?
1. Salvation. This is your starting line for a life of maximum impact. You must be born again. Anyone who is not born again has Satan in control of his life. It is impossible for him to fully live for the purpose for which God created him. Satan will pervert his destiny.
In his conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus underscored the importance of being born again. John 3:3 says, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God’” (NKJV). 1 Peter 1:23 speaks of being born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God, which lives and abides forever. Are you born again? If you are not, I urge you to pray the prayer at the end of this message, and you will be starting a journey towards making maximum impact in life.
2. Discipleship. Beyond being born again, you must become a disciple. Many give their lives to Jesus but never become disciples. Discipleship offers you the discipline you need to make maximum impact in life. Through discipleship, you are equipped with the resources you require to make maximum impact in life. Jesus told the people He called during His earthly ministry, who later became His disciples, to follow Him. The same instruction applies to those who believe in Him today (Matthew 4:19, 8:22; Mark 1:17, 2:14, 10:21, 8:34; Luke 5:27, 18:22; John 1:43; 21:19, 22; Matthew 16:24, 19:21).
Within three and a half years, Jesus turned His disciples to fishers of men. He invested in Simon’s life, and turned Simon to Peter – a reed eventually became a rock. John 1:42 says, “And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, ‘You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas’ (which is translated, A Stone)” (NKJV). Without thorough discipleship, the devil will pervert one’s destiny and one will not be able to make maximum impact in life.
3. Divine purpose. The Discovery of divine purpose gives your life the right direction. It helps you to know what to invest your life in and where. You cannot make maximum impact in life if you live a rudderless life, an aimless life. You must know your purpose. Jesus is our perfect model. He was not confused as regards His purpose in life; hence, He was able to make an uncommon, maximum impact within just three and a half years of His earthly ministry.
In Mark 1:38, He said, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth” (NKJV). He was clear about His purpose in life. Jesus said again in John 12:27, “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour” (NKJV).
John, who recorded this statement of Jesus, knew that Jesus lived a purpose-driven life, and wrote about Jesus’ ministry: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b NKJV). If you are going to make maximum impact in life, you must discover and pursue God’s purpose for your life as Jesus did, and others have, and many are doing.
4. Focus. Focus means single-mindedness, concentration. In 1 Kings 20:39-40, a man was busy, going here and there, and lost what was kept in his custody. You cannot make maximum impact in life if you’re here and there, if you dabble into everything. “Like a bird that wanders from its nest is a man who wanders from his place” (Proverbs 27:8 NKJV). You must set your face on what is needful, and not what is convenient. “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42 KJV). Set your face on your purpose (like a flint or stone) – be determined – and you will be able to make maximum impact. Isaiah 50:7 says, “For the Lord GOD will help Me; Therefore I will not be disgraced; Therefore I have set My face like a flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed” (NKJV).
In Luke 9:51, the Bible tells us the steadfastness of Jesus in the pursuit of His life’s assignment. “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (NKJV). The New Living Translation says, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” That means nothing could stop Jesus because He was focused on going to Jerusalem. You need to be steadfast as Jesus was.
In 2 Kings 12, because of the focus of Hazael king of Syria – he set his face to go up to Jerusalem for war – Jehoash king of Judah was so intimidated that he did what was wrong. He took all the sacred things that his fathers, Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, kings of Judah, had dedicated, and his own sacred things, and all the gold found in the treasuries of the house of the LORD and in the king’s house, and sent them to Hazael king of Syria. That was the only reason Hazael went away from Jerusalem (2 Kings 12:17-18).
No one will make maximum impact in life if he does not set his face like a stone or lacks focus. Those who set their face tend to achieve more than those who do not. The four men, who brought the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 to Jesus for healing, exemplified focus. When the crowd posed a barrier to getting the paralytic to Jesus to heal, they removed the roof of the house where Jesus was ministering and lowered him down. The crowd could not stop them. Their approach was unconventional, and it demonstrated their focus. Mark 2:5 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector, was also a focused man. He did not allow the large crowd, his height or his social status to hinder from seeing Jesus. He did what he had to do by climbing a sycamore tree to see him. He did not just see Jesus, Jesus saw him, and followed him home – salvation came to his house (Luke 19:1-10).
Dwight L. Moody said, “Give me a man who says this one thing I do, and not those fifty things I dabble in.” Be focused. Don’t dabble into different things.
5. The anointing. Without the anointing, the disciples of Jesus would not have affected their world the way they did. Once the anointing came, Peter, who had denied Jesus before a little girl, was bold to preach on the day of Pentecost, and three thousand souls were saved in just one meeting (Acts 2:41).
In Acts 17:1, the disciples were described as those who turned the world upside down. That’s maximum impact. When one realizes their diverse backgrounds as fishermen, tax collectors, businessmen, etc. one can only acknowledge that it was the work of the anointing. The Bible confirms this in the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (Acts 10:38 New King James Version).
Whatever is your field of human endeavour (godly venture), you need the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon your life to make maximum impact. The anointing is for believers, not for pastors only!
6. Grace. Yes, grace is unmerited favour. But grace is also the force (power) of God that causes one to do more than one’s natural ability. Embrace grace; receive grace. Grace will make you. Paul recognized the role of grace in his ministry – he couldn’t do without it; he spoke about it a lot. In 1 Corinthians 15:10, he says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (New King James Version).
Paul says again in Romans 15:15, “Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God” (New King James Version). Grace was given to Paul, and it is not exclusively reserved for him. It is available to you, too. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work’’ (New King James Version).
You must not just receive grace, you must be strong in grace “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1 New King James Version).
With grace, you are sufficient, despite your inadequacies. Grace will compensate for your weakness. “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9 New King James Version). Grace makes available the sufficiency you need to make maximum impact.
Make sure you receive and embrace the grace that God makes available in order to be able to make maximum impact. Grace upon your life exempts you from disgrace! Maximum impact is a function of grace. Grace made Paul; it will make you. Pray for it, and God will give you.
7. Diligence. But it was not only grace that made Paul a star. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:10 another thing that made him outstanding. He says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (New King James Version).
Two factors Paul mentioned in that scripture – grace and labour. I have already mentioned grace. Paul laboured in grace – not outside of grace or without grace. Do not receive grace and just sit down – you will become a laughing stock. Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty” (New King James Version).
You cannot make maximum impact in life if you are lazy. Romans 12:11 says, “Never be lazy in your work but serve the Lord enthusiastically” (New Living Translation). Take note of that adverb – enthusiastically.
The slothful or the lazy will never make an impact let alone maximum impact. The Bible does not spare the slothful. Proverbs 18:9 says, “He who is slothful in his work is a brother to him who is a great destroyer” (New King James Version). According to Proverbs 12:24, “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (New King James Version). That means “The diligent will get the upper hand” (A New Translation of the Bible).
You must add diligent labour to grace that you have received from the LORD. If Jesus had folded His arms, having received grace, if He had not gone about His father’s business, He would have ended a failure despite being the Son of God. But hear what Jesus said: “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 New King James Version). Moreover, He said in John 5: 17, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working” (New King James Version).
No lazy person will make any impact in life, whether in the ministry or in any other endeavour. “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29 King James Version). That is a man who excels and is sharp, skillful and an expert in his work will serve kings and not ordinary, common, undistinguished or obscure people. So get ready for serious labour if you desire to make maximum impact in life, but do not despise grace.
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” so goes the saying. Don’t just desire to make maximum impact in life, bend down to work to achieve it. “The desire of the lazy man kills him, for his hands refuse to labor” (Proverbs 21:25 New King James Version).
8. Right company. You need the right people in your life and around you. That is why one of the first things Jesus did when He started His ministry was to call some people to follow Him – His disciples. Without the right people in your life and around you as a team, your impact will be hindered. Your spouse, friends, employees, partners, etc. are crucial to your making maximum impact in life. Therefore, you must ensure that you make the right decisions on these.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend” (New Living Translation). Because of the importance of friendship, Proverbs 12:26 says, “The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray” (New King James Version). No wonder the psalmist says in Psalm 119:63, “I am a companion of all who fear You, and of those who keep Your precepts” (New King James Version).
Be careful who you associate with. You must not be casual about your choice of those you go into relationships with or who come into a relationship with you. No one comes into your life and leaves you the same. He or she either adds to you or removes from you, makes you better or makes you bitter, lifts you up or pulls you down. “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20 New King James Version).
It is because of the extreme importance of the company you keep that the Bible warns, “Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul” (Proverbs 22:24-25 New King James Version). It is not a matter to be treated with levity; it is a serious issue. The quality of the company you have will determine a great deal the level of impact you will make in life.
If you want to make maximum impact, you look for quality people to work with you or willing and faithful people you can give quality leadership to that will unlock the treasures inside them. David made maximum impact with his army, which also included men who would have been considered a liability to any leader at the time they joined him. “And everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them. And there were about four hundred men with him” (1 Samuel 22:2 New King James Version). The Bible tells us these ones, who would have been disqualified in many recruitment exercises because they may be considered as emotionally unfit, later became mighty men.
You need an outstanding company to make maximum impact in life. To achieve this, you need to have people skills or interpersonal skills, such as the ability to successfully build relationships and work with people. Anyone who does not know how to get along with people will end up being a failure in life.
9. Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Wisdom is defined as “The ability to make decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience.” It has also been defined as the “Ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.”
Understanding has been defined as the ability to grasp the meaning, knowledge of something, interpretation of something, and mutual comprehension.
Knowledge, on the other hand, means, “awareness or possession of information, facts, ideas, truths, or principles.” It also means, “Learning through experience and study.”
Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are interrelated. Without these three, nobody will make any impact in life, not to talk of maximum impact. Wisdom, understanding, and knowledge are part of the building blocks for a life of maximum impact, but fools will not even desire them. “A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead” (Proverbs 21:16 New King James Version).
Your level of impact in life will be determined, among other things, by the amount of wisdom, understanding and knowledge you possess. Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “Since a dull ax requires great strength, sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed” (New Living Translation). Fools will rather keep on working with dull axes than seek where to sharpen them – they consider doing that wasting of time! How foolish they are! They end up wearing themselves out. “The labor of fools wearies them, for they do not even know how to go to the city!” (Ecclesiastes 10:15a New King James Version) In contrast, Proverbs 10:16 says, “The labor of the righteous leads to life” (New King James Version). You need wisdom, understanding, and knowledge to make maximum impact in life.
No one makes maximum impact in life who despises these three. Even God needed them in the work of creation! Proverbs 3:19-20 says, “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens; by His knowledge the depths were broken up, and clouds drop down the dew” (New King James Version). In the same vein, the psalmist says, “O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions” (Psalm 104:24 New King James Version).
Proverbs 24:3-4 also underscores how imperative wisdom, knowledge, and understanding are in life. “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (New King James Version). No impact without wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.
Look at what verses 5-7 of Proverbs 24 say further: “A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety. Wisdom is too lofty for a fool; he does not open his mouth in the gate” (New King James Version).
Someone without wisdom, understanding, and knowledge will live a mediocre life. If you want to make maximum impact in life, you need these three and wisdom is always based on knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment.” Thank God, wisdom is available for everyone to have.
The first thing to do is to fear the LORD – the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10); the fear of the LORD is wisdom (Job 28:28). Also maintain fellowship with God in His word, meditation, and worship. If you do, God can even give you more insight than your teachers (Psalm 119:99).
The next thing to do is to ask God in faith for wisdom, and He will gladly give you (James 1:5-8). You also need to acquire the necessary knowledge in the area of your pursuit – an increase in the correct knowledge you acquire enhances your possibility of making a greater impact. Lack of the right knowledge destroys (Isaiah 5:13). You must keep learning in your field of endeavour, otherwise, you become obsolete. Do not hate knowledge – that is what fools do (Proverbs 1:22). With the advantage of the Holy Spirit in you, as you learn, you can have an understanding that makes you ten times better than your colleagues (Daniel 1:20).
10. Faith and patience. The twin component of faith and patience should be a close companion of anyone who wants to make maximum impact in life. You need faith in God because the challenge could be daunting. You also need patience because maximum impact does not come immediately. Hebrews 6:12 says that you should make sure you “do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (New King James Version). The Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrew 11:6). If you have faith in God to make maximum impact in your calling in life, He will reward your efforts with success. “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything” (James 1:3-4 New Living Translation).
11. Judicious use of time. Do you have respect for time – your time and the time of others? A time waster is a life waster! John C. Maxwell said, “Time management is an oxymoron. Time is beyond our control, and the clock keeps ticking regardless of how we lead our lives. Priority management is the answer to maximizing the time we have.”
You must prioritize the use of your time to make impact in life. Your life can be ultimately broken down from years to seconds. Time is what God has given you to employ to fulfill your destiny. As it has been rightly said, your destiny was written in eternity past, but you do not have eternity to fulfill it!
Jesus knew He did not have all the time – He had only three and a half years to do His ministry; and He maximized the short time to make maximum, eternal impact. It is not how long but how well. It is not the duration that determines the impact but the devotion. Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom” (New Living Translation). There is a time for everything so do not waste time; do not misallocate time. “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 New Living Translation). Do the right thing at the right time and beware of those who want to waste your time. Whoever has no respect for your time has no regard for your destiny.
12. Spiritual warfare. I have not put this last because it is the least important. No. It is vital. There are spiritual forces that do not want some people to make any impact in life, let alone maximum impact. This could be by way of ancestral curses, which make people pay for what they have not bought! This is a great liability.
With a curse upon Canaan, because of the sin of Ham, his father, his descendants, the Canaanite nation, must become servants to their brethren! (Genesis 9:25). God must have known ahead how wicked the Canaanite nation would become. The Israelites later took over the land of Canaan as the LORD had said and promised Abraham.
Similarly, with a curse upon Reuben, by his father, because of sexual immorality he committed with his father’s wife, there was no way his tribe would excel, no matter how much his descendants tried (Genesis 49:4). The two examples were cases of the fathers eating sour grapes, and the children’s teeth set on edge. But the God of justice and mercy said the Israelites would no longer use that proverb (Jeremiah 31:29-30; Ezekiel 18:2-3). That proverb shall not be valid in your life any longer if there is such a pattern in Jesus’ name. Ancestral blessing shall take over from ancestral curse.
There are other curses the wicked ones, people like Balaam the son of Beor hired by Balak the son of Zippor to curse the Israelites (Numbers 22), place on people and evil spiritual activities frustrating their efforts in life and limiting their impact.
Every child of God must learn to engage in spiritual warfare to pray and possess what is rightly his from God. God shall hear the persistent cries of such persons and intervene.
The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God to destroy all spiritual forces that want to sabotage the efforts of God’s children towards making maximum impact in life (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
Do not fold your arms and watch the devil short-circuit your destiny. You must not surrender your destiny to the forces of darkness. Rule in the midst of your enemies (Psalm 110:2b). Never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a fountain. His branches reach over the wall. He has been attacked by archers, who shot at him and harassed him. But his bow remained strong, and his arms were strengthened by the Mighty One of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (Genesis 49:22-24 New Living Translation). Before the very eyes of your enemies, you shall be fruitful in Jesus’ name.
Conclusion: Making maximum impact in life is not a joke. It does not come easily. It does not happen by merely wishing it, but it is possible. If you will act on this message, you will live a fulfilled life and close your life on earth with the words of Paul that you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and you have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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