Enlarge Your Capacity

You may know the story in Matthew 14. A multitude had followed Jesus to a remote place, and He had spent the whole day healing the sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to Jesus and asked Him to send the people away so they could go into the villages and buy themselves food. But Jesus said, "That's not necessary. You feed them." They said, "Sorry, but we only have five loaves and two fish." I love the way Jesus said, "You feed them." He'd been doing miracles all day. Was it really going to be difficult for Jesus to multiply the food? What the disciples thought was small, what they thought they couldn't handle, was not a problem for Jesus. He said, "Bring them to Me." "And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes" (Matthew 14:19). Jesus took the small and let the disciples go big. He let them be a blessing that day. He let what they had in their hands feed the multitudes.

Today, Lakewood gathers together to worship in an amazing, beautiful auditorium. Here's what I remember about this building. Over thirty-two years ago, Joel and I were sitting in the same auditorium on our very first date watching the Rockets play basketball. Our journey to here started very small, and I can tell you that there was a lot of small stuff we had to learn along the way. Joel and I couldn't begin to handle what's going on in our lives today unless we learned how to handle the small stuff that God kept bringing to us. We did not have the capacity. We were not even close to being ready to deal with that responsibility.

The disciples had it in their hands, but they didn't know how to handle it until Jesus gave them the secret: "Bring it to Me." We could never have handled the responsibilities for Lakewood apart from learning to do the same over and over again. And the same is true for you. If you will learn to handle the small things in your life, He'll enlarge your capacity for more. The secret is to bring them all to Jesus. Let Him break them and bless them, and He'll go big in your life. The next time He says, "You feed them," just put those small things into His hands!


Be Uncommon

It's easy to fit in and do what everybody else is doing, to go where everybody else goes, to think like everyone else thinks. Our neighbors complain, so we complain. Our coworkers show up late, so we show up late. Our relatives have addictions, so we have addictions. It's common. It's normal. But God did not create you to be common. He didn't breathe His life into you so you can do what everybody else does. You were created to be uncommon, to live by a higher standard, to do what others are not willing to do, to believe for things that others think are too big.

Everybody may complain at work, but that's not you. You're uncommon. Instead of joining in, you find something to be grateful for. You're uncommon. People around you think they've reached their limits and are just going through the motions of life. You're passionate about your future and know that the path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter. You're uncommon. Everyone around you may be compromising, running around on their spouses and being dishonest in business. You're a person of integrity. You do the right thing when no one is looking, and you keep your word even when it costs you something. Other people don't understand you, but you live by a higher standard. You're uncommon.

Complainers and compromisers are a dime a dozen. They're common. But God is looking for uncommon people. People who have uncommon faith, who believe for things that seem impossible. People who have uncommon commitment, who do the right thing when it's hard. People who have an uncommon attitude that's positive when everyone else is negative, discouraged, moody and critical. God rewards the uncommon with uncommon favor, uncommon strength, uncommon friendships and uncommon increase.

The apostle Paul says, "Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold" (Romans 12:2). There's a constant pressure trying to squeeze you into being common, into doing what everyone else is doing. Don't let that thinking rub off on you. If they want to be common, that's their choice. But that's not who you are. You are uncommon. Stand out in the crowd. Do the right thing when the boss is not around. Do more than required. Set a new standard. People around you may be giving in to temptation, doing things you know are not the best. That's the enemy trying to deceive you into being common. He knows that if you're like everyone else, it will keep you from becoming all you were created to be. Don't fall into that trap. Be uncommon. Live by a higher standard.


Be Mindful of Your Words

Recently I was talking with a woman who was worried about her very talented daughter who is working at a job where she's not getting any breaks while other less talented employees are getting ahead. She was lovingly concerned about her daughter's future, but as she went on and on painting a scenario of gloom and doom, I started to feel depressed. Then I gathered my thoughts and asked her, "Is that what you want for your daughter?" She said, "No, of course not." I said, "Then you have to quit prophesying that about her future." If she convinced herself that's what was going to happen, she was also going to speak those words to her daughter. I said, "Look, what you need to begin to say is, 'Thank You, Father, for unprecedented favor in my daughter's workplace. Thank You that she's going to get the supernatural breaks she needs.' Begin to prophesy her abundant future."

It's because we love someone or something so much that we begin to use our words in the wrong direction to try to control the situation. Because of the pressures of life, we need to be mindful of what we're saying. David prayed in Psalm 141, "Lord, set a guard over my mouth. Keep watch over the door of my lips." He was saying, "God, I am in a difficult situation. Don't let me speak words that get my life off course. I don't want to speak what I see and feel. I want to speak what You want. I want to go in Your direction for my life."

And that's exactly what you and I need to speak in the midst of the pressures of life. Our words can send us in the direction of God. We serve a positive God who spoke life and light into a dark and void situation and created this world. And He has given us the privilege to do the same—to speak into our situations, to begin to prophesy our future, to direct our life where it needs to go so that we can obtain the miracles that He has for us.

Jesus said, "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" (John 6:63). When you get the Word of God in your mouth, you create a strong, spiritual life that will send you on the course to life. Your words will direct you beside still waters and take you to green pastures. They'll lead you to refreshment for your soul. Let's be very attentive to the words that we speak. Let's remember our words are containers of power that can direct our course. We can prophesy our future.