All things are possible for those who believe. You don’t believe with your brain, you believe with your heart (Romans 10:10). Your heart or inner man is paramount in experiencing God in this life. God wants you to increase the capacity of your heart to trust him so he can move through you in greater ways and see his will come to pass.
The more confident you are in his character and his word, the more you can allow him to do through you. And what he wants to do is increase and enrich you in every way so you can be generous in every way.
2 Corinthians 9:10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
God’s goal is to have a nation of priests in the earth who are thriving and prospering, and out of that prosperity lead people to Jesus and disciple them in God’s ways so his kingdom will increase in the earth. We must expand our hearts to trust greater for this to happen.
God wants to have a thriving and bountiful marriage with you
One day God will take back control over the earth, but until then his family, that nation of priests, must follow him and work with him so his will is accomplished in the earth. He needs you to think bigger, to dream more extravagantly and to ask more abundantly.
God has a habit of asking people to expand their expectations so he can work through them in greater ways. We see this repeatedly with the Israelites, God’s first chosen people. Isaiah 53 gives us a beautiful image of Christ’s accomplishments on our behalf. Immediately after declaring his plan of salvation through the Messiah, God describes what he wants for those who will be in this new covenant and what he expects them to do.
Before he affirms his eternal covenant of peace, he invites his bride to expand her tents. Expanding your tents refers to actual tents but it’s also for a metaphor for our hearts.
Isaiah 54:2 “Enlarge the site of your tent, stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, DO NOT HOLD BACK. Lengthen your ropes and drive your stakes deep. 3 For you will spread out to the right and left; your descendants will dispossess the nations and inhabit the desolate cities. 4 Do not be afraid, for you will not be put to shame; do not be humiliated, for you will not be disgraced. For you will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 5 For your husband is your Maker—the LORD of Hosts is His name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth. 6 For the LORD has called you back, like a wife deserted and wounded in spirit, the wife of one’s youth when she is rejected,” says your God.
God encourages them to stretch by saying don’t be afraid, believe, think big, trust God in ways that cause you to stretch, you won’t be ashamed.
Then he declares his own identity amid this invitation, he says I’m the LORD God, the leader of the armies of Heaven, I’m the one who saves you, and by the way, I’m your husband.
He invites them to stretch and grow, he affirms his own identity as their validation for the promises coming to pass and then he describes the context of the relationship they’re in with him as all of this is accomplished.
Engaging in an intimate, personal relationship with God will give you the strength and courage to stretch and believe.
God also displays this kind of provision on a personal level, as we see with the widow of a man who followed Elisha.
What if she had more jars?
Here’s the backstory, in the time following the death of King Solomon and the division of Israel into two kingdoms, there was a period of general indifference and apostasy, especially in the North. During this time men who maintained their faith in the Lord formed study groups in various places to keep the knowledge of the Lord alive. These study groups were called companies of prophets. Although the men in these groups were not official prophets of Israel, the Lord blessed them with spiritual gifts including the gift of prophecy. Both Elijah and his successor Elisha maintained close relationships with these groups. This woman’s husband was in one of these “companies of prophets.”
As you read this story, keep your heart open, pay attention to any insights God may give you that apply to your life. Be open to God revealing to you where you’re limiting him.
2 Kings 4:1 The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” 2 Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” 3 Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. 4 Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” 5 She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. 6 When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”
What stands out to you in this story? Did you notice anything about God’s provision for this lady that spoke to your life? Here’s what I noticed…
God used what she was willing to believe with
God didn't do anything separate from her cooperation
God didn’t have the prophet give her money, he invited her to get her heart involved and filled that space
God used what was already in her house (Moses, what's in your hands)
What did you notice?
What if she had more jars? Would it have kept flowing? Probably. The oil flowed until all the available jars were filled. What if she sent her sons to all the village to proclaim what God was doing in her home and invited them all to bring their pots? The whole village would have benefitted from her miracle.
What if they brought all the jars in the whole world to her home, would they all have been filled? I realize that’s slightly ridiculous, but what if? Is God able to fill all the jars on the planet with one small jar of olive oil? Of course he is, he’s God!! And that’s my point. Think big, take the limits off.
Engage your heart with God, and when fruit starts to grow, keep moving, don’t shut it off, don’t limit him. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine. DON’T HOLD BACK!!!
What are you willing to let God increase?
What’s in your house? What’s in your hands? What are you willing to allow God to increase?
Too often I hear people say that they would do anything God asked them to if he would just make it clear. People say they’re thinking and believing big. But there’s one problem, there’s no action. I watch people pray then sit back and wait for God to move.
It’s a collaboration. Don’t pray for anything you’re not going to act on.
That action must be taken in confidence, not fear and doubt. You might not have all the details worked out but you must have an expectation that is fueled by confidence in God’s character. God will always be who he is, who is he in your situation?
When you realize that you already have something God can increase, you have a direction to move, but you must move. If God can get you to see the potential of increase in a specific area, he can flood into that space. As you make room for him in your heart, make sure you step into that space with your emotions and your imagination AND… your actions. Here’s how Paul says it…
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.