I love this talk by Elder Maxwell. It really gives some great insight. I especially loved this statement he gave about qualifying ourselves for the work. "God does not begin by asking us about our ability but only about our availability and if we then prove our dependability He will then increase our capability."
The Lord loves someone who is willing and dependable. This is something I constantly struggle with, being someone the Lord can really count on to accomplish His purposes. #1, we need to be available and willing. #2, we need to actually do what we're inspired to do. Only then, with the Lord's help can we truly reach our potential and true capabilities.
Elder Maxwell gave us some helpful tools to qualify ourselves for the Lord's blessings and help.
Here are some simple things we can and should always do:
Put our shoulder to the wheel, rather than stepping back and yelling for someone to provide us a tow truck.
Beware of pride. The Lord says in the fourth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, “if you have desires to serve God ye are called to the work.” (D&C 4:3.) But he means righteous desires, not desires for status.
The Lord also notes therein that charity qualifies one for the work, but there is no mention that a craving for causality qualifies one for the work. When some are given a chance to do a task, they bring their own agendum and, unfortunately, seek to do their will, not God’s.
Beware of self-pity. When we seem tempted to call ourselves to the Lord’s attention by answering when uncalled, “Lord, here I am,” we instead ought to ask of our present assignment, “Lord, am I doing enough?” When failure seems foretold, we ought to ask with genuine concern, as the earlier disciples asked, “Lord, is it I?”
Beware of making comparisons. Perhaps when the Lord asks us to put our hand to the plow and not look back, he is also suggesting that we ought not to look around for comparative purposes, either.
Develop a personal sense of historical and scriptural perspective. We need to remember that God sees things more clearly than we do. What we see that is going on in our lives, therefore, is not necessarily all that is really going on from an eternal perspective.
Accept the potential in each learning experience. We must learn to serve in tasks that require thrust and initiative, but also in roles that focus on maintenance. The one produces the thrills of a beachhead landing in enemy territory, while in jobs involving “minding the store” one must often serve quietly.
Count our blessings. Whatever our current calling in a branch or ward, a district or a stake, we also have continuing and significant callings in our families and callings to be good neighbors—callings from which we can never be released.
Develop multiple sources of satisfaction through wise and multiple services to mankind. Elder Bruce R. McConkie has said that “service is essential to salvation.” (“Only an Elder,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 68.) Service can be given in so many ways, and when thus pursued, if one opportunity for service dries up, we are not left unfulfilled.
Search our souls to see if it is possible that in our present tasks we may be giving of our time, talents, and money without really giving fully of ourselves. It is possible to withhold self while still doing much. It has been noted how some prefer to give presents rather than presence! (Dorothy Briggs, Your Child’s Self-Esteem: The Key to His Life, p. 66.)
Read the whole talk, it's worth it!