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Monday, May 19, 2014

Increasing Your Ability to do Great Things

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

You've heard the saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” This statement often plays out to be true. Studies have shown that when a person has little going on in their life—little responsibility and little obligation, they accomplish little. Research also shows that when you give more responsibility to disciplined and responsible people, they learn to take on and manage more—stretching their capacity to do more and do so effectively.

Isaiah 54:2-3 (NIV) "Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.  For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities." 

This verse is not just about tents or home building. It's about trusting in God's grace and help to do more—to increase your ability and capacity to get more done.

God desires to bring increase into our life but people who can get things done—which is a good thing—often fall into pride over their own ability to get things done. Their success and efforts becomes their identity. Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “This is what the Lord says: "Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord, have spoken!"

God wants our identity and confidence in getting things done to be in Him and His ability working through us, not pridefully in our own ability. He wants us to stretch ourselves by trusting and leaning on Him to do more and take on more. It will be a stretch! Ask any parent that's just had another child. Suddenly that family has stretched and increased. There's another person to take care. When we lean on God and stretch, we find that God will help and bless us.  But He also wants us to understand that it’s His grace that will help us accomplish more and for His purposes, not so we can be seen as great.

Some people have become unnecessarily dependent on the benevolence of government, churches, organizations, and more. Benevolence is supposed to be a type of grace to temporarily help people in tough situations—temporary being the key word. But people get trapped in them because they eventually strip people of their dignity and confidence to take care of themselves. God gives each of us the capacity to stand on our own two feet and accomplish not only providing for our self but the ability to do great things!

You may not know this, but when you set your heart and trust in God, you can do far more than you ever imagined. You can stretch your self and your abilities. You may have spoken the words I don’t know what to do and I can’t do this a thousand times before. In past efforts, you may have been one to easily give up and quit. But, when you learn to lean on God and stretch yourself to do things you've never done before asking Him for His help, you will experience His grace and power to help you. If your attitude is, God, I know by your grace and with your help, I can do all things as you strengthen me and give me your wisdom, then you will be able to do more than you could ever have imagined—more than you ever dreamed possible. God will stretch the borders of who you are and your life and help you to increase. Have an I can't attitude and attempt to do little and you will get little accomplished. You will become lazier and more inept.  Look to God and attempt to do more trusting in His grace and power to help you and you will pleasantly learn what you can do in His ability! He will help you manage your work, your family, and all your life in His balance—all while He increases you!

Let me close by adding the most important part of this secret revealed by God about stretching yourself. Prayer is the key to it all. It is the number one thing. Heart-felt time with God through His Word and prayer will fuel you and your faith giving you the courage to stretch yourself. It’s where your trust in Him will be refreshed. The promises of God will catapult you again and again. Jesus modeled that. He said He did “...nothing but what the Father told Him.” He saw that spending time in prayer with His Father was where the grace, the direction, and the faith came from directed that His daily steps. So it should be for us. That is where the words  "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:13 (NLT) become true in our life.

Motivational speeches peak us for about an hour. God's Word and grace help us become those whom people can depend on and trust to give us more. That's increase!

Luke 12:48 (NLT) “…Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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