Are You At Capacity?
If we do not understand our own limits in this life, how can we increase our capacity to accomplish our goals and reach the promises on our lives? We will never be content, satisfied or happy knowing we never reached our full capacity. I’ve been thinking about this word “capacity.” Not necessarily in physical terms, as we just witnessed, but in spiritual and emotional terms. I believe we all have a spiritual and emotional capacity. This includes the amount of stress, the kinds of challenges we face, and just plain how much we can handle.
Here’s a dictionary definition of capacity. As you read this, think of how these ideas might be translated into the emotional and spiritual realm:
1. the ability to receive or contain: This hotel has a large capacity.
2. the maximum amount or number that can be received or contained; cubic contents; volume: The inn is filled to capacity. The gasoline tank has a capacity of 20 gallons.
3. power of receiving impressions, knowledge, etc.; mental ability: the capacity to learn calculus.
4. actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand: He has a capacity for hard work. The capacity of the oil well was 150 barrels a day. She has the capacity to go two days without sleep.
I, for one, don’t have much capacity to learn graphic design programming. Pastor Edmonds (PE), on the other hand, probably does. But does that mean I cannot learn it at all? What it might mean is that PE has a greater capacity to learn and understand and apply graphic design, than I do. But the reality is, in many, if not most, issues of mental capacity, I can grow in my capacity and understanding, and so can PE regarding US Law on Multi-family rental housing as I do. I encouraged us to challenge our capacity because too often we put a lid or limit on it. Sometimes this is because of something you were convinced of as a child or a belief you have determined about yourself. (For example: “I will never lose that weight.” or “I will always be alone.”) How have you allowed a lie to limit your capacity?
Conditioning determines capacity. With practice and hard work, we can achieve more than we thought we were capable of. What is one area of your life that could use some intense conditioning? As believers, we are taught to seek Christ first and trust him in all things. However, it’s easy for our human hearts to doubt or disobey this call in times of crisis or hardship. When is it hardest for you to trust God? In moments that are hard to trust Him, what can you do to refocus on His promises and provision? The Bible shows time and time again that the greatest thing to increase our capacity is a crisis. There are also some characteristics of God that can only be known in crisis. Thinking back on a crisis you have experienced, what is a characteristic of God that stands out to you? How does that impact your relationship with God now?
Part of the increase and growth is enlarging our capacity. God promised enlargement to each of us. Isaiah 54:2-3 speaks of growth, enlargement, fruitfulness. In order to keep what God gives us – that is, to keep growing both in maturity and effectiveness – the stakes must be able to cope with, hold, and accommodate that growth in each of us. The same would be true for a church, a home-group etc… Part of enlarging our capacity is being open to God developing and changing our lifestyle and character; to conform us to our destiny in Him. God will develop and do what is needed if we surrender to Him, work with Him, and don’t look back. Here are some keys to help us increase our capacity so that we might fulfill our full potential in God, His purposes in us, and His destiny for us. In 2 Kings 4:1-7, the prophet Elisha tells a widow to gather jars from her neighbors to meet her financial need. While this assignment seemed unrelated to her crisis, her simple obedience increased her capacity and caused her to earn beyond her previous debt. What is a simple step of obedience that you can take, like the widow, to go beyond your comfort zone and increase your CAPACITY?