I was sitting in Creflo Dollar’s Ministers and Leaders Conference listening to Dr. Samuel Chand teach on capacity when I felt stirred to do a word search for capacity.
I was lead to Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 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 read, re-read and re-read the verse again. . .I knew God was giving me a powerful revelation even beyond the teaching I was hearing at the moment.
Here are seven insights on what God wants you to experience now.
1. After looking at the way things are on this earth.
The key to success is to determine why you are where you are. . .where God wants you to be. . .create a plan to get there. . .and start where you are with what you’ve got.
Hosea 14:9 in the Message Bible says:
“If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll learn this inside and out. God’s paths get you where you want to go. Right-living people walk them easily; wrong-living people are always tripping and stumbling.”
“God’s paths get you where you want to go.”
Your destination is not the product of a greedy boss, a self-serving supervisor or even, a government bureaucrat. Your ability to move from where you are to where He wants you to be. . .is determined by your decision to follow His instructions.
If you don’t obey His instructions on the way you should go. . .you’re not going to like the consequences of your behavior.
Jeremiah 4:21-22 in the New Living Translation says:
“I have told you today, but you won’t obey anything the Lord your God sent me to tell you. But now, you need to know that you will die in wars, famines, or plagues in the place where you want to go and live.”
I’m sure that’s one journey. . .you and I never want to take.
We should heed the words found in the first sentence of Hosea 14:9 in the Message Bible which says:
“If you want to live well, make sure you understand all of this. . .”
I’d say. . .that’s pretty clear.
Action Assignment: Write down exactly where you think you are in life. . .in the six major areas of your life (Spiritual, Family, Financial, Mental, Physical and Social.) Next, write what you think your next step should be.
2. Here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live.
Let me be very clear. . .the best way to live is not according to what you think. . .but what He thinks.
Psalm 25:12 in the ERV says:
“When people choose to follow the LORD, he shows them the best way to live.”
When you follow anyone or anything other than His direction. . .you will not only settle for less than His best. . .you may get lost along the way.
When you're driving down a road you’ve never been on before. . .you need a GPS (God’s Positioning Satellite.)
God’s GPS will keep you from wrong decisions, wrong turns and thus avoid time delays.
Psalm 139:5-6 in the Message Bible says:
“You know when I leave and when I get back; I'm never out of your sight. You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence.
“I look behind me and you're there, then up ahead and you're there, too—your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful—I can't take it all in!”
The best way to live. . .well, it’s simple. . .seven words. . .READ YOUR BIBLE. . .DO WHAT IT SAYS.
Psalm 32:8 in the Amplified Bible says:
“I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.”
Now that’s what I call the best way to live.
3. Take care of yourself.
I’ve discovered. . .not to my surprise. . .or probably that of anyone else. . .there are some really Goofy people on the internet.
I did a Google search for the phrase “take care of yourself” and found some strange definitons. The most interesting said the expression was an instruction for people to take care of themselves. . .because nobody else would.
So I decided to check the most reliable source I know. . .the Bible.
There are three verses which I feel give you the Alpha and Omega on how to take care of yourself.
First, 1 Peter 5:7-8 in the Amplified Bible says:
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
“Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”
This scripture reveals how to take care of yourself. . .mentally, spiritually and physically.
Second, Philippians 4:8 in the Message Bible says:
“Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized.”
Being selective. . .being scriptural in what you think about is the best way to take care of yourself mentally.
Finally, 3 John 1:2 says:
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
I also like the Message Bible translation of 3 John 1:2 which says:
“We’re the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!”
The best way to take care of your health and your wealth is to prosper spiritually.
4. Have a good time.
I’d like for you to turn in the Gospels to the Book of Religion. . .chapter one verse one which says:
“Thou shalt not laugh, have fun, nor shalt thou smile all the days of thy life.”
You can’t find it. . .look again. . .I’m sure it’s in there. Some of the people in the church I grew up in and frankly, every church since. . .have had some members who followed this scripture religiously.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 in the Amplified Bible says:
“1To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
“2 A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
“3 A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
“4 A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
There is a season for everything. . .planting, healing building up, laughing and dancing? Does that sound like you’re having a good time? It sure does to me.
Colossians 3:17 in the Message Bible says:
“Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”
I choose to thank God and Praise His Name for the good times.
We can have a good. . .not great time. . .every day because we know it’s a day that the Lord created just for you and for me.
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Every day is filled with infinite possibilities, unknown opportunities and as yet, discovered divine connections. . .if you expect it to be.
I do. . .and it is.
5. Make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life.
It’s truly sad that seventy-percent of the people who have jobs. . .don’t like their jobs. This is especially sad in today’s job market. . .when many people feel they don’t have any other options.
Many workers will never be promoted because they don’t have a scriptural understanding of work.
Here are four reasons why you should make the most of your job.
First, work is a gift to you personally.
Ecclesiastes 3:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.”
Work helps you discover and use dominant qualities in your life. It exposes you to other people and allows you to learn the art of communication. . .speaking and listening to others.
Second, your work is a gift from God for others around you.
1 Corinthians 12:25 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“He did this to make all parts of the body work together smoothly, with each part caring about the others.”
When others see you do your part and more ... it inspires them to become a gift to others and maximize their potential. Your work creates life, movement, progress and energy.
Galatians 6:4 in the Contemporary English Version says:
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.”
Third, your work is a gift of God to your family.
The way you work becomes the example your family will follow.
My parents have incredible work ethics. They don’t believe that “work” is a four-letter word scrawled on a bathroom wall. My parents taught the value of work and the reward of seeing a job well done.
Fourth, you should always be ready, willing and able to go the extra mile.
Matthew 5:41 says:
“And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain…”
Fifth, your work should become increasingly effective.
Proverbs 1:5 says:
“A wise man will hear; and will increase learning.”
Sixth, your work will position you for recognition and advancement.
J.C. Penny said:
“Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.”
Seventh, you should always remember who you’re working for.
Ephesians 6:7 says:
“With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men.”
6. 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.
Start where you are with what you’ve got. Let God do the rest.
The New Century Version of Zechariah 4:10 says:
"The people should not think that small beginnings are unimportant. . ."
Small things, when properly managed, can bring an amazing reward.
Luke 16:10 in the Message Bible
“[God Sees Behind Appearances ] Jesus went on to make these comments: If you're honest in small things, you'll be honest in big things; If you're a crook in small things, you'll be a crook in big things. If you're not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store? No worker can serve two bosses: He'll either hate the first and love the second Or adore the first and despise the second. You can't serve both God and the Bank.”
For a moment, I want to focus of the part of the verse that says:
“If you’re honest in small things, you’ll be honest in big things.”
Let it sink in. . .and become a part of who you are. . .if you aren’t that way already.
Luke 6:10 in the Message Bible also says:
“If you're not honest in small jobs, who will put you in charge of the store?”
How a person responds to menial tasks is most often a reflection of how they will perform when given even greater responsibilities. This principle reflects both in your personal and professional life.
There are folks who feel that performing certain tasks is beneath their dignity or skill set. Not according to the Word of God.
You and I must show ourselves faithful where we are. . .if we want to receive the greater opportunities and rewards.
Plus, when I’m faithful in small things. . .I get to have a good time with the Lord.
Matthew 25:21 in the New Century Version says:
“The master answered, 'You did well. You are a good and loyal servant. Because you were loyal with small things, I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my joy with me.'”
My attitude and ability in handling small things will allow me to share the joy of the Lord.
Can somebody say. . .Hallelujah. . .it’s worth the price!
I always have the knowledge and confidence in knowing that when I’ve handled running the small ‘city’ well. . .that I will be allow to rule over ten cities.
Luke 19:17 in the New Century Version says:
“The king said to the servant, 'Excellent! You are a good servant. Since I can trust you with small things, I will let you rule over ten of my cities.'”
On a side and perhaps humorous note, I realize that the scripture doesn’t say which ten cities . . . but if I get to choose, I’d pick.
Jerusalem, Israel; Key West, Florida; Edwards, Colorado; Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii; Lucerne, Switzerland; Alexandria, Egypt; LaGrange, North Carolina; Seattle, Washington; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; and Fort Worth, Texas.
Back to the teaching . . . never think that what you do is insignificant or not noteworthy. When you do the best you can with what you’ve got. . .God notices and remembers.
7. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now.
I grew up believing that we endure the trials and temptations now. . .for the greater reward later.
A song that I heard quite frequently as a boy was “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”
Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Sometimes I'm up, and sometimes I'm down,
(Coming for to carry me home)
But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
(Coming for to carry me home)
While it’s a great song. . .I disagree with the theology. By the way, it was written by a Choctaw freedman. . .meaning an African American who had been enslaved with the Choctaw Indians.
In 2011, Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma signed a law making it the official Gospel Song of Oklahoma.
Back to the point. . .the verse in Ecclesiastes 5 says “God deals out joy in the present, the now.”
That’s what I’m experiencing and daily expecting more of God’s joy in the now.
I’m reminded of another gospel song written by the great Shirley Caesar.
This joy that I have the world
didn't give it to me
this joy I have the world didn't
give to me
oh this joy I have the
world didn't give it to me
the world didn't give it
the world can't take it away
The holy ghost that I
have the world didn't
give it to me
oh oh the holy ghost
that I have, the world
didn't give it to me the
holy ghost that I have
the world didn't give it
the world didn't give it
the world can't take it away
Now that I’ve taken you down memory lane. . .let me share three scriptures with you.
2 Corinthians 13:11 in the ERV translation says:
“Now, brothers and sisters, be filled with joy. Try to make everything right, and do what I have asked you to do. Agree with each other, and live in peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”
John 17:13 in the Amplified Bible says:
“And now I am coming to You; I say these things while I am still in the world, so that My joy may be made full and complete and perfect in them [that they may experience My delight fulfilled in them, that My enjoyment may be perfected in their own souls, that they may have My gladness within them, filling their hearts].”
Romans 15:12-13 in the Message Bible says:
“And Isaiah’s word:
There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse, breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,
Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!
“Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!”BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS