Thursday, 13 August 2015

Enlarge Your Capacity For More.

What if I actually took responsibility for my life, putting it in a position where God could do more & better things with it than what I could ever imagine? What if I actually dared to live a larger life, to ask God for bigger things, & to believe more things are possible than impossible? We are fooling ourselves if we think that we can just leave it all up to God to bring His will to pass in our lives without any effort on our part. Often we find in the Word where receiving the promises of God are conditional. In many of those verses God is saying, ‘If you do this, then I will do that’ or ‘this will happen’. 335 verses have the phrase “if you” in them.

There are great & mighty things God wants to do for us, in us, & through us, but we must make room for them. Ex 19:5 “…if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people…” Matt 17:20 “…I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” As I said, there are just some things that can only come into our lives when we meet certain conditions to receive them. It does little good to ask God to “bless me indeed, enlarge my borders, let Your hand might be with me, and keep me from evil, so that I may not cause pain”, if you are not willing to take the necessary steps or make the appropriate changes to receive them.

Simply praying that prayer or confessing those words; no matter how powerful they are; are not enough if you don’t make adjustments in your life. The prayer of Jabez was a cry for change; “Change what I have, change where I am, change what I can do, change how I live, & change how I affect others. Because you cannot remain unchanged, while asking God to change everything around you.” Asking God to do this means that we are asking Him for more responsibility, more influence, & more opportunities to do His will. It’s exciting! Creates an expectancy!
Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations: spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes; for you shall break forth on the right hand and on the left… (enlarge: broaden, make room)  Isa 54:2,3
Enlarge Your Capacity For More.
Years ago, I was in a prayer room with some others, when someone began to pray, “God, fill us with your Spirit.” They kept praying that over & over again. I began to realize that the problem with most Christians is not the fact that God can’t do something or doesn’t want to do something; the problem is they are not in a position to receive.

The problem with most Christians & churches is that they are narrow-minded, have small vision, little faith, & they think too small. Too many are “me focused” & unwilling to think or act outside of the box. People are more comfortable with things staying as they are; even if “as they are” is unproductive & lifeless. They don’t like their comfort zones tampered with & take offence when they are challenged to do more. But I’m here to tell you that if you want more you must do more, pray more, believe for more, think higher, see further, reach farther, enlarge & stretch yourself! If you don’t, then you’ll remain the same. 2Tim 1:6 “…stir up the gift of God which is in you…” Enlarge the place of your tent…vision, faith, thinking! God has called us to more! He hasn’t created us for smallness, mediocrity, or ineffectiveness! God’s church is meant to be ENLARGED!

Have you ever had a spring cleaning or a huge yard sale? It takes time & effort, but once it’s all cleared out & cleaned up, you find that you have more room. The house hasn’t gotten physically bigger. The square-footage hasn’t increased at all, but there’s more room. Often in our lives, there are things cluttering up our ability to receive what God wants to do in our lives; fear, doubt, unbelief, sinful or bad habits, contentment, disobedience, selfishness, laziness…the list could go on & on. And because this is going on in our lives then making room for more isn’t a high priority for us. This is what we must work on. We must get rid of those things that are cluttering our lives, hindering our faith, blocking our vision, impeding our progress, confining our beliefs, binding our movement, & enlarge our capacity for more! Jesus said that you couldn’t put new wine in old skins because the fermentation of the wine would cause those old dry, stiff, & hard bags to burst open & spill out the wine. New wine must go in new skins because they are pliable, flexible, and supple & can expand with the wine. What kind of wineskin are you? Are you soft, pliable, flexible, & expandable? Or are you an old, dry, stiff, & hard wineskin that cannot be stretched to make room for something new? You’re either one or the other! So if we want to position ourselves to receive more & if we’re willing to be enlarged & stretched, we must:

Be obedient – God cannot promote disobedience. The reason why some people can’t expand is because they are disobedient in some area of their life. King Saul couldn’t expand his kingdom to his sons because he was consistently disobedient to God’s instructions. 1Sam 15:22,23 So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft…” So if you wonder why you cannot advance in a certain area of your life; maybe you need to look back to the last place where you were disobedient; repent and get busy doing that. If we don’t correct the disobedience in our life then we cannot expect promotion.

Be a blessing – If you want to be blessed then be a blessing. Don’t be a hoarder; always keeping everything to yourself. If you can’t show that God can get a blessing through you, then why should He bring a blessing to you? We are blessed to be a blessing. Pro 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings…” Be faithful with the blessings God brings to you & more will abound. You can’t be a stingy tightwad & prosper in ministry. Find someone who could use a blessing, & be one to them. Go beyond what’s comfortable or easy. Go out of your way. Borders expand when there is more to go in them.

Serve others – Phrases: Going that extra mile, giving that extra help, going beyond what is expected or required. Seems like phrases of days gone by. The times in which we live are marked with people who want to get by with as little effort as possible. Matt 5:41 “…whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” If you’re not available to serve, then you’re not able to lead. Leadership begins with servitude. Too many people want to give a little & receive a lot, but it doesn’t work that way. Jesus said the way to the top was found on bended knees serving others. He is the ultimate servant. True servants aren’t complainers.

Be sensitive to ministry opportunities – Pay attention; look around & you’ll find ministry opportunities everywhere. It’s the mark of foolishness to ask God to give you more ministry responsibility if you’re not doing what you could where you are now. I’ve heard people pray, “Lord, give us the nations as an inheritance so they might be saved”, but they wouldn’t dare walk next door & witness to their neighbors. Too many people want an international ministry, but they’re not willing to pick up a phone & call their neighbor & check on them. You don’t need a pulpit to have an effective ministry; all you need to do is look for opportunities. Practice your evangelistic skills on those around you. Witness to them. Be a witness before them. Christians, even preachers have asked me to pray that God would move them from all of those heathens on their job. I said, “I’ll pray no such prayer! There’s your field! Go reap!”

Be faithful – Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” If you won’t be faithful where you are now, then you won’t be faithful where you want God to take you. I’ve seen over the years, pastors & churches put unfaithful people in key positions within the church in hopes of making them faithful. I’ve never seen it work. If someone cannot prove their faithfulness when there isn’t much required of them, then they won’t be faithful when more is required out of them. If you want God to trust you with more, then be faithful with what He has already given you. Luke 12:48 “…to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.” Responsibility leads to accountability. You can’t have the one without the other.

Be willing to take risks – An act of faith is nothing more than a calculated risk that is based in absolute trust & confidence in God’s power, wisdom, and goodness. I’m not talking about doing something stupid and then expecting God to bail you out. What I am saying is this though, if a turtle never stretches its neck out its shell, it will never know if it could go forward. Some of you are so afraid that if you make any kind of move towards doing more, having more, being more, or making more that you are paralyzed by fear to do anything at all. Stepping out in faith means trusting God with what He has already put in your heart or revealed in His Word. Fear of change where you are will keep you from going where you need to. H.S. illustration: A sailboat has many components; helm, sail, rudder, & anchor to name a few. Fear is like an anchor. When the sail is up, it is able to catch the wind & propel the boat forward. The helm/wheel controls the rudder for direction. But when the anchor is down the sail, helm, & rudder are useless. Some of you have sensed the wind of the Spirit blowing in your life, you’ve felt impressed to raise the sail, you’ve grabbed the helm & felt the sweeping motion of the rudder in the water, yet because you’re fearful about where He’s leading and because you can’t see what’s over the horizon, you won’t lift the anchor off the bottom. Fear has you paralyzed. Faith won’t work when fear is in control. When Abraham stepped out in faith God gave him the Promised Land. When Moses stepped out in faith he delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. When David stepped out in faith he slew Goliath. When Mary stepped out in faith she conceived the Son of God. When Peter stepped out in faith he walked on water. When Jesus stepped out in faith He arose from the grave! Don’t let fear keep you from stepping out in faith to do whatever God is leading you to do!

Help someone else fulfill their vision – Once, while serving as the Executive Pastor of a church, there was a lady whose husband never attended church with her. I asked her why that was since she said he was saved. She said that he was waiting for God to open him up a church so he could pastor it. I asked, “And he doesn’t attend church anywhere?” She said no. I quoted Luke 16:12 “…if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?” I thought she was going to explode or slap me! She looked at me with one of those looks and walked away. I love the Word of God! Sometimes it just hits you right between the eyes & brings you back to reality! Too many people want to start at the top of the ladder when the first rung to where they want to go is only one step up. Much of my life has been spent helping others reach their vision even while one burned in me. There are ministries & leaders I’ve served with where my vision was different from theirs & even some where my vision was larger than theirs, but when you’re set under someone, your focus is to help them reach their vision; no matter how passionately yours burns! If you don’t help someone else fulfill their vision, then you shouldn’t expect others to come along to help you reach yours.

Give the Word first place in your life – The reason why most Christians aren’t enlarged in their life is because they don’t spend enough time in the Word. Their faith is weak, their vision is small, & their thinking is limited. The Word is spirit & life. The Word of God causes growth if you will apply it; whether it is milk or meat, it will cause growth! Every time you read or hear what God has for you, you ought to shout, “That’s for me! I believe I receive it!” Mark 4:14,15 “The sower sows the Word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the Word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts.” Satan can steal what you’re not prepared to protect.

Walk in love – The greatest hindrance to receiving the things of God comes when we step out of love. To step out of love is to step out of the will of God. Asking God to bless you indeed, enlarge your borders and stuff, is going to attract opportunities for you to get offended. When you allow yourself to get offended and meditate on that offense until it festers into anger or bitterness & you don’t immediately forgive them, then you are decreasing your capacity to receive more from God. Any time we set ourselves to grow or develop spiritually, we become a target for the enemy to try to come in & trip us up; especially in the area of love. Job received enlargement & increase when he prayed for his friends. Job 42:10 “And the LORD restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.”

Enlarging your capacity for more is not a onetime event, it is a life-long process. I’m challenging you put your life in a position where God can do more and better things in you. I’m challenging you to live a larger life, to ask God for bigger things, & to believe more things are possible than impossible. I want to challenge you to begin thinking outside the box, to begin stretching your faith so that you can believe God to do some awesome things, to begin to enlarge your vision so that you can see beyond the end of your nose, & to begin asking God to enlarge your capacity for more.

Remember To Enlarge Your Capacity For More.

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