Developing Your Capacity For Multiplication
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 1:28
Sunday 31st January 2016
We are working our way through the series ‘Experiencing the Power of Multiplication’. From the last message titled ‘The Covenant of Multiplication’ which we examined a fortnight ago, we highlighted the five-fold blessing declared by God on Abraham, recorded in Genesis 12:1-3: ‘Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed’. As Abraham’s offspring by faith, we also qualify and can claim these blessings.
God had always desired to relate with humanity in the same way He befriended Abraham – By grace as opposed to performance or effort. We may sometimes feel that we do not measure up to God’s prerequisite to becoming His friends, but His grace qualifies us. From Romans 4:16, we concluded that God’s promises can only be received by faith – healing, deliverance, victory, breakthrough are all encapsulated in this truth. In conclusion, we examined the covenant that God instituted with Abraham as a guarantee and safe-proof that the promise made to him, will endure. This same covenant is available to us as well.
Let’s take this truth a bit further by looking at a message titled ‘Developing Your Capacity for Multiplication’. When God approached Abram and gave him a promise, His first utterance to Abram was this: ‘I will make you a great nation’. God had a generation mindset as revealed in that statement. Abram had one child in mind. God promises are usually humongous, way beyond our capacity to receive them. God thinks abundance always; hence we must rethink our outlook of seeing abundance as greediness. God has and will never run out of supply, regardless of how much or the several times we request from Him. Sadly, we have embraced the idea of approaching God with a small capacity which we need to address and amend.
Here is our foundation scripture in Genesis 17:1-8; ‘When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.” Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations’. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
Luke 6:38 gives us a different perspective on this as Jesus spoke to his disciples: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Our capacity determines what we receive from God. As God is limitless, it is our different capacities that invariably define our abundance. In other words, once God speaks a word, the fulfilment is certain provided there is someone with the right capacity to receive it.
Ephesians 2:8 puts it this way: ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God’. God’s grace is available to us all, but our faith is the capacity by which we receive the promise. Our faith as mentioned in this verse refers to our confidence in what Christ as already finished on the cross for us.
One of the limitations to our capacity to receive from God, are negative conditions. When we focus on the negative circumstances continuously, we lose sight of the positive things till they elude us. Negative conditions limit the flow of God’s grace and His promises for us. This was the condition that Abram experienced – even though he had the promise from God, the promise was limited by the negative circumstances around him. His mind focused more on this, shutting out the promise as a result. Sadly, we often tend to focus on the negative like Abram did, consequently distracting us from God’s promises for us. We ought to understand that negative circumstances carry the tendency to hinder us, if we allow them, from enjoying the flow of God’s grace. Even though we all have a negative situation we are contending with, it is important to realise how to rise above those circumstances. Negative situations, if not controlled get bigger and so we must be careful what we give our attention to.
In order to relieve Abram of the potency of the difficulties around him, God decided to elevate him beyond his circumstances, which we can learn from. Here are four things we can all do to rise above our circumstances:
(1) Focusing on God and His promises: There are two ways to keep God in focus, namely (a) Meditation: God wants us to meditate on His word. Here is Joshua 1:8, which reads: ‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success’. To meditate is to ponder, to think, to deliberate, to contemplate. Instead of focusing on the negative circumstances, it is beneficial to spend time focusing on God and His word. Ultimately, God’s word becomes a reality that begins to order our steps and actions. (b) Imagination: This is a term that strikes a chord with us when used within a secular context. Imagination is used frequently among producers and inventors, and hardly within a spiritual setting. However, it must be emphasized that God created our imagination and He intended for it to be used for good. It can be defined as the inner image within our minds to aid us in achieving success in various areas of life. Hence here is a question for you...what picture have you developed regarding your future? What do you see? A mind with an inner picture is a person with a vision, ultimately leading to a specific direction and an actual reality in life. For this reason, God told Abram to count the stars and the sand in order to give him a picture of the future.
(2) Stay away from negative environments: Avoid visiting places where you have to contend with destructive and detriment forces.
(3) Confess the word and lastly,
(4) Take heed what you hear.
Isaiah 54:1-3 gives us an insight into God’s mind about developing our capacity from the words of Isaiah to Israel as a nation: “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the Lord. “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities” (NIV). In order to experience the entirety of what God is bringing our way, we must be ready to provide Him with the requisite capacity. Psalm 2:8 echoes this sentiment also: ‘Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession’. Although, God is timeless and limitless, our capacity could limit what we receive from Him.
In 2 Kings 4 we read a story that illustrates this truth a bit further. ‘A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.” So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few. And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.” So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured it out. Now it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another vessel.” So the oil ceased. In the same way, God desires to bless us with His abundant blessings but we must be ready with the commensurate capacity.
Let me share with you five things you can do to enlarge your capacity:
(a) Pray God-sized prayers: It is vital that you pray prayers that are above and beyond your current circumstances. Provide God with the right capacity for the blessings He is bringing your way. Jabez prayed a God-sized prayer in 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 which reads: ‘There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request’ (NLT).
(b) Challenge your current situations: Challenge your mental, financial, physical, spiritual life. Think big, as it is vital that you see life beyond yourself. See life from God’s perspective, and believe Him for more. Like Abraham, hold on to God’s promises. Like Noah who built an ark unprecedented, go ahead and do the seemingly impossible and unimaginable. Enlarge your belief capacity. Leave your comfort zone behind and step forward from the boundaries that you’ve known hitherto. Stretch yourself, leave the familiar and embrace the new. Remember that your position determines your perspective. God spoke to Abram about this in Genesis 12:1, which reads: ‘Now the Lord had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you”.
(c) Expand your perspective: Enlarging your vision enables you to embrace God’s purposes for you. Genesis 15:5 gives further clarification on this: ‘And He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight] and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars — if you are able to number them. Then He said to him, So shall your descendants be’ (AMP). Put an end to seeing your life based on your background, economic situations. Rather, you must see your life based on God’s word.
(d) Think Big: Dream about the word of God. Think success, enlargement. Allow your thoughts to align with God’s word, since God has promised to bless you. In order to take over the nations for God, then we must embrace His promises.
(e) Cross the boundaries set for you: Each of us have boundaries that life has drawn for us – based on our economic situations, family or cultural circumstances, your upbringing. It is vital then, that we dare to, break the boundaries and cross those lines. Be a line crosser and a difference maker. Dare to break the boundaries that the systems of the society and the world as a whole have drawn for you. Break those lines that you may have drawn for yourself, inadvertently or deliberately. If you can conquer yourself, there is no reason why you cannot conquer the world.
This is our time to multiply. In order to enjoy multiplication this year, I encourage you to enlarge your capacity.
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