Saul was an amazingly capable man. Educated by the brilliant Gamaliel and possessed of a keen mind and zealous spirit (22:3) he must have been utterly stunned when Jesus blinded and confronted him on the road to Damascus turning his entire world upside down. While he reached the end of his religious measure as Saul, his life was about to spiritually blossom as Paul. His example should inspire all of us.
Do you want to grow spiritually; expand your capacity? It begins with dying. When Paul wrote, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Philippians 1:21) certainly he was looking forward to his heavenly homecoming. But there may be deeper meaning to what Paul meant if we consider Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23 about denying self. To deny self is to die to self. Dying is letting go of me and what my flesh desires to pursuing God—that is gain!
To increase capacity demands learning. Donald Phillips noted in Lincoln on Leadership, “The best leaders never stop learning.” They are teachable and that means continual growth. This is why it is so vital to habitually feed on Scripture—God’s inspired Word.
To increase capacity, one must be adaptable (stretchable) and resilient to adjust to new challenges and settings. Jesus said, “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins” (Mark 2:22). To have more capacity requires creativity and the ability to avoid deifying tradition/methods at the expense of listening to the Holy Spirit.
More capacity requires good health. I cannot go out and run faster when my asthma kicks in because the lung inflammation robs me of air and makes me cough. Similarly, if I am battling or engaged in sinful behavior or thinking, my capacity is threatened. Faithful, holy living means God can trust me and use me beyond what I thought possible.
More capacity similarly requires circulation. Christians cannot grow in isolation. We need each other. We promote, provoke, or stir (depending on the translation) each other to fellowship because coming together to share our lives enriches us (Hebrews 10:24,25).
More capacity requires faith. Paul could do all things through Christ--not through himself (Php. 4:13). He grew more spiritually capable because his faith was in Christ, the Messiah. I hope you like the word more, because attached to Jesus it is fantastic.
“I assure you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come.” (Mark 10:29,30)
Expanding capacity requires a willingness to endure short-term discomfort in the service of long-term reward.—Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)