According to Merriam-Webster, capacity means::
: the ability to hold or contain people or things
: the largest amount or number that can be held or contained
: the ability to do something : a mental, emotional, or physical ability
The Lord has been showing me different pictures of what it looks like to have a spiritual capacity, capacity for His love, for His Holy Spirit.
You see, we are just cluttered people. We have some heart clutter, some mind clutter… things get in the way of the full capacity that God wants to work with. Worst of all, we all start out rather tiny, like a Starbucks Tall.
You ever try to get in a friend’s car but they have junk all over their seats? It’s the same when Jesus takes us “as is” and He just climbs right over all the junk. It doesn’t always go away right away, though sometimes it does. He helps you clean up, and certainly makes you want to.
I’ve noticed this in myself and in many disciples of Jesus: we walk around very very cluttered. Sin, and struggle, and strife. Easily swayed, easily stumbling. Then comes the frustration of guilt and confusion. Why am I not stronger? Why am I failing?
You are expecting to perform at 100% when you might be operating at 20%. Capacity.
Truth is that Jesus is still in that 20%. You cannot scare Him out. He is in the mess with you, even when you’re 80% failing. Promise.And I promise that the 100% you envision is actually not even a 1% with Him, because He is so so Holy. You fall much shorter of the glory, even on your good days. Ouch, right? Grace. Righteousness. All these things are really yours. No strings attached as long as you have earnestly invited the King of Kings to inhabit your heart. He lays claim of what is His. He is not surprised by your weakness.
Because He’s not surprised, neither should you be. Yet this is not a call to complacency or the embracing of our failures. It’s not a pat on the back for the days when you’ve rebelled against His goodness for whatever reason.
War for an increased capacity. War for it.
Stand at those broken gates and pray fervently. Pray for healing. Pray for restoration. A new spirit, a new heart. Pray for whatever it takes to upgrade you into a higher level of intimacy with Jesus! Maybe it’s a willing spirit during a part of the day. Maybe it’s a renewed hunger for His Word. Maybe it’s the courage to listen more in prayer, intentionally sitting there and waiting to hear from the King.I can tell you, He is calling you into a deeper place. He’s preparing you little by little for more and more. He’s a God of MORE.
Even if you feel like the biggest failure of a Christian, Jesus has not given up on you. He has not walked away. He is crammed in there with you, in the middle of all that cluttering mess. He wants to give you more freedom, more space. He declares that you lack no good thing, and that you’re new.ASK HIM what needs to go. Ask Him to make more room in you, that you would have an increased capacity to love and obey Him. Ask Him to free you up even more. He will reveal to you what is most important: His heart.
King David was described as a guy after God’s heart. David had quite the track record. He murdered, and lied, and cheated, and pretty much every yucky thing, He probably tried it.
Yet this is what David wanted most of all:: to worship and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
We are God’s workmanship. If we were cities, He’d name us “The Lord is There” and “Sought After” and “Married” and all these amazing names.
Oh that the Most High King is living inside my heart. Oh that there is more for Him to commandeer. Oh that I am willingly offering my heart every single day, asking for just a little bit more, please, if it won’t kill me.
ENTERING THE CYCLE
With awareness that there is more to be had, we ache. It HURTS. Our souls confuse that aching hunger for the fullness of God with emptiness or distance from God. No! Check your heart. Are you truly feeling distant from God or are you realizing that you want more of Him? Is it a lovesick hurt? It doesn’t mean He doesn’t love you, or that you’re on the rocks. You just truly truly want more, in a hunger that overshadows what you have and where you are. You just might be HANGRY for the Lord. Check yourself.
When God increases your capacity, the once-overflowing ‘cup’ starts to look half-empty. He’s just made room for more, and if you look with earthly eyes, the only thing you’ll see is a lack. You got yourself a tall frappuccino in a grande cup. You have just as much as before, but now, praise God, you have the capacity for more. You aren’t necessarily empty, but it might feel a lot like that. Check your heart.
After the ache, you get filled. Lalala, everything is so perfect. The ‘mountain’ really, the high of experiencing progress, growth, faithfulness. You might still be at 20% capacity, but you start to see it go to 21, 22, 23, 24… and whoa wow whoa! You see improvement and it encourages your heart.
As you approach fullness, you might start to experience apathy. Oh fun, right? The ache is dulled, you might feel spiritually exhausted, like you need a break from all that filling up, yeah? This is when the enemy sneaks in and tells you that you don’t even love Jesus. He lurks around right when you’re pretty much so full of Jesus, and dangerous. You have to war in prayer from those awful lies that sneak in when you’re basically full to the brim of where God has you.
Once apathy is chased out, the Lord brings out healing and hunger. Again. You start to feel that ache, that yearning for God and His truth.
Do you see the cycle?
If you’re in His hand, if you’ve opened your heart, you’re most likely somewhere in this cycle. I think as we mature in Him, we are less and less swayed by the appearance of the circumstances, because we become more and more well-acquainted with His heart. Gosh, I hope so. Let me at it, Jesus.
Let’s not disdain the work of His hands, or count ourselves out. Does He not say that He finishes what He starts? Does He not say that He’s the Beginning and the End? Does He not call Himself the Author and Perfecter of our Faith?
Let’s not give ourselves too much credit when we’re strong, or too much responsibility when we’re weak. Let’s just abide in Him.
He carries my heart through this crazy process of discipline and maturity. It’s an ebbing and flowing, for better or for worse. It’s a marriage.
It’s not all butterflies, but it is. It’s not all rainy days, but it is.
It’s okay that my feelings and perceptions don’t always match my reality. He is with me, and He is good. He is close. I am in Him, and He is in me. We are. I am in love, even on days when I feel like I fall so short. Those are the days I fall more in love with His grace. Oh, that I would love Him more.
Help me carry more. Help me love more.
Increase my capacity, Lord.