During the past few weeks on our Rich Thoughts For Breakfast conference calls we've discussed scriptural insights to living a better life.
These insights are all contained in Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 in the Message Bible which says:
“After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.”
As I’ve read and re-read that verse in preparing the teachings. . .I was stirred by Ecclesiastes 5:19 which says:
“Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it.”
The word capacity ignited in my spirit and God showed me seven ways to expand our capacity for success as we move in His blessing flow.
But first, let’s lay a foundation for this teaching.
I’ve read Isaiah 54 many times. . .generally focusing on verse 17 particularly in the Amplified Bible which says:
“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.”
But on this occasion, I was led to Isaiah 54:2 which says:
“Enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes.”
According to Strong’s Concordance and the Hebrew dictionary the word enlarge means to:
“grow large, to go beyond, to make more room, to increase capacity, to break out; to breakthrough; to expand, go further, occupy new territories, no limits, no boundaries, thinking big.”
Enlarging our tent. . . our reach. . .our capacity for success is not optional or a mere suggestion. . .it is a scriptural command.
Each of us knows that when we obey God. . .amazing opportunities and blessings open to us.
As we reflect on where we are in life. . .and what we feel led to do and accomplish we need to believe God to enlarge and expand our horizons.
As we walk by faith, we are unleashing a supernatural dynamic where we will experience miraculous breakthroughs by expanding our capacity for His blessing flow.
Scripturally speaking I believe we can all agree that God has the ability, the willingness, the desire and the capability to bless us superabundantly above all that we could ever think or ask as it states in Ephesians 3:20.
If we believe and agree. . .there is a question that needs an answer.
If it is God’s desire to bless us by enlarging our borders, then why is it that we are not receiving the blessing flow that God desires for each of us.
There’s no a shortage in heaven. . .and heaven will never run out of the promises and provision promised to the children of God.
If there’s no shortage of resources in heaven, then the problem lies here on earth. . .with our capacity to receive what heaven releases to each of us. We can limit our capacity to receive.
In the story of the widow woman in 2 Kings 4. . .as soon as her capacity of jars were used up. . .the oil ceased to flow.
2 Kings 4:6 in the Amplified Bible says:
“When the vessels were all full, she said to her son, Bring me another vessel. And he said to her, There is not a one left. Then the oil stopped multiplying.”
The oil stopped multiplying when she no longer had the capacity to capture it in the jars.
2 Kings 4:7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Then she came and told the man of God. He said, Go, sell the oil and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.”
The woman was able to pay all her debts and save her sons from being taken by her creditors. Not only that, but she got her retirement and that of her sons fully funded in one day.
However, if she had more jars. . .a greater capacity to receive. . .we know the oil would have continued. Maybe she could have gotten other people out of debt as well.
When she ran out of jars…she ran out of oil. The lack of jars limited the widow woman’s capacity to receive any further benefit of the blessing flow.
The point is … when you expand your capacity to give and receive. . .you enlarge your blessing flow.
As your capacity increases so does the blessing flow in your life.
Luke 6:38 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.”
For with the capacity you deal out. . .with the measure of that capacity you use. . .as you confer benefits on others. . .blessings will be measured back to you.
When our capacity to give is expanded so is our capacity to receive.
The last part of Luke 6:38 in The Living Bible says:
“Whatever measure you use to give—large or small—will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
Our capacity determines our blessing flow. If we can increase our capacity, we can increase our blessing flow.
Psalm 81:10 in The Living Bible says:
“For it was I, Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. Only test me! Open your mouth wide and see if I won’t fill it. You will receive every blessing you can use!”
As we go through this teaching be mindful of Isaiah 1:19 in The Living Bible which says:
“If you will only let me help you, if you will only obey, then I will make you rich!”
A closer look at Isaiah 54:2 reveals five special instructions.
“Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;”
Enlarge. . .stretch. . .do not hold back. . .lengthen and strengthen.
In other words, God is telling us to increase our capacity to receive His ever- increasing blessing flow.
Our capacity to give and receive determines what we’re capable of receiving. God will not release a blessing we cannot handle either spiritually or financially.
The children of Israel wandered through the wilderness for 40 years because they did not have the capacity to accept, appreciate and act on the blessings on God. Because of their murmuring. . .only two of the original Israelites who came out of Egypt entered the Promised Land.
A journey that should have taken less than two weeks. . .took forty years.
It clearly states what happened in Psalm 78:41 in the King James Version of the Bible.
“Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”
Our capacity to receive and understand the blessing flow of God will either release or limit our potential for success. To increase our capacity we must learn to take God at His Word and to think beyond our imagination.
But first, we must increase our capacity beyond our current capacity of understanding.
Luke 5:1-2 says:
“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.”
Let’s study Luke 5:3 for a moment.
“And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.”
Have you ever wondered why Jesus taught first…before the miracles took place?
Why didn’t Jesus just tell Peter to cast his nets to the other side, get some fish, have a fish fry and give Him a pat on his miracle-working back.
Put yourself in Peter’s shoes ... he’d been fishing all night long….he’d caught nothing…now the boat is cleaned and he’s ready to go to Ihop for a breakfast special.
If Jesus had walked up and just said, cast your nets out into the deep on the other side of the boat, Peter would have probably said, “Sorry I’m going to eat breakfast then I’m going home to sleep.”
Peter would have heard Jesus’ words but he would not have understood.
The teaching expanded Peter’s capacity to believe.
The teaching also expanded Peter’s capacity to receive.
Jesus knew Peter needed to enlarge his thinking. . .to increase His capacity. . .to understand the miracle working power of God.
Luke 5:4-5 says:
“Now when he had left speaking (teaching), he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. 6 And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.”
Miracle manifestation came into their lives once they understood. . .allowing them to increase their capacity for God’s blessing flow.
Peter might have been skeptical but because of what he heard, he decided to step out into the unknown by faith in Jesus’ words.
The miracle was always there; Peter just had to have his capacity to understand so he could receive increase.
The fish were there…but Peter had to changed his perception…..He said, “Master we have toiled all night long….but at your word, we’ll let down the net.”
Peter’s faith had increased because his capacity to understand increased.
Here’s a fact, what you perceive will become your reality. When we perceive right things. . .our capacity to receive God’s blessing flow increases.
As we increase our capacity to understand. . .it allows us to put our nets where the miracles are waiting.
Our faith increases our capacity to receive.
It’s also important to understand that our capacity to receive must be enlarged in the triune man (spirit, soul and body). We may be spiritually sound. . .with great understanding but God does not want us to ignore our soul and body.
Our ability to increase our spiritual capacity is directly proportional to our time reading and studying the Word, praying, worshipping through our voice and our checkbook. Giving, as we’ve taught before, is an act of worship. God will only increase the spiritual capacity of those who have a hungry for His Word and His presence.
Our soul refers to our mind (intellectual capacity) our will (decision making capacity) and our emotions (our capacity for feeling things). God tells us numerous times in scripture that He does not want us ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12:1 says:
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.”
Increasing capacity means our health, our relationships and capacity for success.
Here are seven keys to increasing our capacity in spirit, soul and body.
1. Ask God to increase your capacity.
1 Chronicles 4:10 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Jabez cried [prayed] to the God of Israel, saying, Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and You would keep me from evil so it might not hurt me! And God granted his request.”
Have you ever asked God to increase your borders. . .your capacity for a greater blessing flow?
I’d like to believe that most of you have. However, the real question is. . .did you ask in faith believing. . .not wavering or doubting?
I’ve known way too many believers whose faith comes in sudden bursts. . .when their back is against the wall or even when it’s convenient.
When we ask God. . .we’ve got to know that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
2. Charge out of your comfort zone by challenging the way things are.
Stretch your thinking. . .increase your understanding. . .do something you’ve never done. . .enlarge your capacity for increase by believing something. . .you previously thought impossible.
Believe God. . .like Abraham who left what was familiar and held onto the promises of God.
Believe God. . .like Noah who had never seen rain but built a ark.
Believe God. . .like the Centurion who knew one word from Jesus would bring life to a dead situation.
Believe God. . .like David who took a rock and rolled the giant.
If God is going to enlarge your borders you’ll need to leave your comfort zone and the predictable behind so He can increase your capacity to believe and receive beyond your previous expectations.
Genesis 12:1-2 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Now [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.
“2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].”
3. Put on your spiritual glasses.
We must stop looking at life through our rearview mirror. . .at what’s happened or didn’t happen in the past.
Our future is in front of us. . .and we need to allow the Word of God to be the glasses through which we view our capacity for success. We need to see the world before us through the promises of the Word.
To increase our capacity for success. . .our blessing flow. . .we need to have 20/20 vision.
2 Chronicles 20:20 says:
“. . . Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.”
To believe the Lord our God. . .is to see things as He sees them. Take a moment to allow that statement to sink in…He is the God of limitless possibilities.
4. The miracle of thinking big. . .like God.
Years ago, I read a book entitled “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz. It’s a good book. . .but truthfully, I’m not into magic. . .I’m into miracles. . .the supernatural intervention of God to change circumstances. Miracles Come When You Think Big and Don’t Doubt.
When our thoughts line up with His thoughts and they should. . .because 1 Corinthians 2:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.”
Colossians 3:16 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.”
Now that’s how we expand our capacity for success and His blessing flow.
5. Negative conversations will adversely affect our capacity for increase.
We can never be motivated by those who aren’t motivated.
We can never share dreams with those who aren’t dreamers.
We can’t talk about achieving our goals with those who don’t have any goals.
If we desire to increase our capacity. . .we need to make sure we hang around the folks who can help fill that capacity with the pure, the powerful and the positive from God.
People who will cause us to stretch our thinking while expanding our borders.
1 Corinthians 15:33 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Do not be so deceived and misled! Evil companionships (communion, associations) corrupt and deprave good manners and morals and character.”
6. Positive associations will dramatically increase our capacity for success.
Make it your business to learn from people who’ve been or are at where you want to go.
In selecting a mentor. . .here are three things you should consider.
First, does your mentor have the proper spiritual insight to train you?
Second, has your mentor actually experienced the advice they are giving you?
Third, does your mentor have a successful track record in the area in which they’re advising . . .be it the marketplace or ministry?
Advice that has not been tested, proven and successful is just opinion. . .an experiment … not experience.
Someone, regardless of how good they sound,. . . cannot take you where they haven’t been.
When it comes to your capacity for success and change. . .you need to realize that every new generation can go beyond the previous generation.
Proverbs 15:22 in the New Living Translation says:
“Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.”
7. No one can limit or restrict your capacity for success. . .unless you allow them to do so.
Enlarge your tent. . .the place of your surroundings. Make and take conscious decisions to move beyond past limitations.
According to the Herring Life Experiences Dictionary. . .breakthrough is defined as:
“A sudden burst of faith that will take you beyond all previous points of past resistance.”
In other words, you. . .nobody else but you . . . will make a decision to move beyond the boundaries that societal inertia or attacks of the enemy has taken you.
May your capacity for success be commensurate with the blessing flow that God is bringing into your life. . .beginning today.
Psalm 40:5-7 in the Amplified Bible says:
“5 Many, O Lord my God, are the wonderful works which You have done, and Your thoughts toward us; no one can compare with You! If I should declare and speak of them, they are too many to be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, nor have You delight in them; You have given me the capacity to hear and obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require.
7 Then said I, Behold, I come; in the volume of the book it is written of me;”
Read your Bible….do what it says. . .and these seven words will guide you to your increased capacity for success and His blessings flow.
One final thought.
Your capacity for success is directly affected by your generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:11 in the New Living Translation says:
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
And, one more scripture on increasing your capacity.
2 Corinthians 9:10 in the New Living Translation says:
“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”
Beginning today, I’m expanding my capacity for success. I’m taking the limits off. I’m enlarging my borders to be about Kingdom business.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS