Enlarge Your Capacity For Your Blessings
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Isaiah 54:1-8
Sunday 12th January 2014
We commenced a new series last week titled 'Enlarging the Boundary of my territory'. From the message titled, 'The Unlimited God', we concluded that the Hebrew word 'Rachab' means 'to grow large', 'to grow wide', to go beyond, to make more room, to increase capacity, to break out, to breakthrough, expand, go further, occupy new territories, no limits, no boundaries, thinking big, broadened and robust. 'Enlarge your territory' is not a suggestion, but a command. We learnt that each of us have the responsibility to obey this instruction from God. Now, identify areas of your life where you believe God to enlarge you, and ask Him to do so. Do not hold back, unleash the power of your faith, and confidence and watch Him demonstrate His limitless power in your life. We looked at three aspects of God including His capacity, His ability and His willingness.
Today's message is titled 'Enlarge Your Capacity For Your Blessings'. We've agreed that God has the capacity, the ability and the willingness to bless us exceedingly and abundantly. Now, the question to ask is this: 'How is it then, that we are not receiving all the blessings that the Lord promised us?'. It is simple; the problem lies with our capacity. It is for this reason that verse 2 of our foundation scriptures enjoins us to 'enlarge the place of your tent'. Heaven will never run out of resources, but the capacity on earth always determines how much Heaven releases. Remember the widow woman and the jar of oil in 2 Kings 4? As soon as the capacity of the jars was filled, the oil ceased.
Let me introduce a concept to you – It is simply called: Capacity and flow. For every capacity you present, there is always a corresponding flow. You can only expect to receive a flow commensurate with the capacity you have. In Matthew 9:29, Jesus demonstrated this when he said 'Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you". Again, you will find this concept illustrated in Luke 6:38; "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". Also see Isaiah 1: 19 and Psalm 81:10. God will measure back to you the proportion of the capacity that you present to Heaven. If you can change the capacity, you can determine the flow. If what you are experiencing in your life right now is below your expectations, then you need to increase your capacity to receive more from God. What must you become, in order to receive all that you desire from God? Great men and women who lived before us, understood this principle, and they tapped into it. '
A closer look at Isaiah 54 reveals five specific instructions to take note of : Enlarge, stretch, lengthen, strengthen and do not hold back. In all these, God is simply saying 'Increase your capacity, because I'm about to pour out my blessings'. Your capacity determines what you are capable of receiving. God will not release to you a blessing that you cannot handle. A good illustration from scriptures is the story of the Israelites, a generation of slaves, who travelled through the wilderness for forty years, a journey that could have taken 11 days or less, if they had the experience of fighting wars. It took 40 years to develop their capacity – and sadly only 2 members of the original generation arrived at the Promised Land.
Your capacity is the ability to receive or contain; it is the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained. Your capacity is a measure of what you can receive, hold or absorb. It reflects your potential, your resourcefulness and skilfulness. To increase your capacity, you must take it beyond the current ability to receive or contain, and augment your gift, your skilfulness and cutting edge.
Let me share with you the story of a bible character who demonstrated a limited capacity for the opportunity that was brought his way, as recorded in Luke 5:1-7. After a speaking session, Jesus instructed Simon Peter to launch out his boat into the deep, with nets for a catch. Simon's response is recorded in verse 5-7: "But Simon answered and said to Him, "Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at your word I will let down the net." And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
It is obvious from this scripture that, firstly Simon had not given Jesus' instruction much thought – He obeyed half-heartedly. Secondly, after experiencing the breaking of nets, he should have signalled for a bigger vessel, but he simply called for a boat that wasn't big enough for the blessing. We must learn never to underestimate the blessings of God. He wants to do a great work in your life, would you give Him capacity for it?
In contrast, here is another story of another bible character who gave God a big capacity for the blessing prepared for him. In 1 Kings 3, God appeared to Solomon in a dream, and gave him a blank cheque: "At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask! What shall I give you?" Solomon replies in verse 9. "Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?". God granted Solomon's request as recorded in 1 Kings 4:29. "God gave Solomon wisdom — the deepest of understanding and the largest of hearts. There was nothing beyond him, nothing he couldn't handle."
Prior to Solomon's enthronement, not much was expected of ancient kings. They were only required to govern, handle state affairs and go to war, but Solomon redefined kingship in his time by increasing his capacity. The scripture says, amongst many other things, Solomon was a horticulturist, a botanist, a poet, a marine engineer, an animal biologist, a creative artist and a dramatic artist. In His time, he wrote 3000 proverbs and 1500 songs. The scripture says, he had largeness of heart – this talks about the heart that has reached new boundaries of achievement through God.
As I conclude, let me share with some strategies to enlarge your heart. The first thing to do is to recognise that your capacity must be enlarged at three different levels – Spirit, soul and body. Yes, God want us to be spiritually sound, but we must not ignore other areas of our lives.
Your spiritual capacity refers to your walk with God, your daily living in righteousness, and your spiritual disciplines – reading and studying of the word, your prayer time, fasting, worship time and giving. There are blessings God will not release unless you are spiritually matured.
Your soul capacity refers to your mind (intellectual capacity), your will (your decision making capacity) and your emotions (your feeling capacity). All three members of your soul must be developed.
Lastly, your body capacity refers to your finances, your relationships, your health, your social interactions and success capacities.
To develop your capacities in these three areas – Spirit, soul and body, here are some points you need to take note of:
(1) By Asking God: You must realise that you need an enlarged capacity, hence you ask God for it. Jabez asked for God to bless him indeed and God granted his request (1 Chronicles 4:9-10).
(2) Challenging your current situation: Challenge your spiritual life, your mental life, your financial life and your physical life. Stretch yourself, think big. Believe God for more, for the ridiculous, for the impossible. Believe God like Abraham did, who despite his condition held on to God’s promises. Believe God like Noah who had never seen rain, yet constructed the ark. Enlarge your faith capacity, your believe capacity and your love capacity. If you are not happy with where you are; then do something you’ve never done. Pull out of a predictable routine, come out of your comfort zone, step out of your current boundary and stretch yourself. Leave the familiar to embrace the new. Try travelling out on holiday to stretch your mind and your imagination. God had to take Abraham out of his comfort zone before he could arrive at the place of promise (Genesis 12:1-3).
(3) Expand Your Perspective: Expand your vision. You need to enlarge in order for you to come into all that God has for you. Let the word of God be the lens with which you see life. Stop looking at your life based on your background and your economic conditions. Rather, begin to see your life based on what God’s word says about you.
(4) Think Big: You are who you think you are. Let your thoughts line up with the word. Dream big, think big, enlarge your mind, challenge your thinking, think success, enlargement and expansion.
(5) Be Discerning: In order to enlarge your capacity, you must be discerning. You must choose who you move with and what you entertain around you. Ensure that you only allow for what will make a positive difference in your life.
(6) Set New Models: You must have people you look up to who are challenging you in life. People whose lives are a testimony in the area where you want to excel. They’ve broken through in the areas where you want to breakthrough. Learn from them. Study them. Develop significant relationships with them. You must never stay at the level of your parents – God has given you more opportunities. Every generation must go beyond the previous generation. Staying at your parent’s level will be a disaster! You must maximise everything you have in life.
(7) Cross the Boundaries Allotted to You: Determine to go beyond the lines that the system or society has drawn for you, the lines the devil had drawn for you and the boundaries you have allotted for yourself.
This is our season to go beyond and experience enlargement. May your capacity be commensurate with the blessings that God is bringing your way in Jesus name (Amen).
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