Capacity and How to Get More of It

Do you ever feel like you just can’t? You’re done, you’re burned out, you’re spent, you’re overwhelmed and you’ve got nothing left to give? Or maybe you’re not burned out because you’ve been too afraid to ever really do anything at all. These are the feelings related to our capacity to accomplish things.

The dictionary defines capacity as the actual or potential ability to perform, yield, or withstand.

I know you. You have big dreams. You have desires that God has put in your heart, seeds that will grow into something even greater than you can imagine. But you feel like you’re so far away from accomplishing them because you’re either too overwhelmed with what’s already on your plate or maybe you’re too afraid to get started at all.

Our capacity is the measure of what we can do with excellence and without burnout.

The goal is to live life at full capacity. Not under and not over. Don’t be a race car driver that drives 15 miles below the speed limit or a teacher that reads every book out there but doesn’t share what they’ve learned. Don’t be a spectator, get in the game!

High capacity people can run businesses, start non-profit organizations, manage high-risk situations, keep their house immaculate and do it all while looking good and maintaining healthy relationships. Low capacity people can get out of bed, take a shower (most days), show up to work (although they’ll be late) and maybe meet up with a friend that they’ve already canceled on twice.

So what’s the difference? Are some people born with more capacity than others?

I think capacity is a combination of time, ability, emotional fortitude, and Grace. Some things we can improve and others require a dependency and trust in God.

TIME – If we are too busy to do the big things we feel a desire to do, we are limiting our capacity. Those big dreams that we’ll do someday can be started today if we’re diligent in making time for it. Prioritize the activities you do in your free time. For example, decide to read your Bible before you allow yourself to check your social media sites. Determine to read a chapter in a book about preparing for your dream before you allow yourself to turn on the TV. If you don’t have free time, try cutting out the good activities to make room for the right activities.

ABILITY – There are some abilities that we’re born with, you know, like the 6-year-old with natural talent that can sing like a Disney star? But most of us have to work at improving our craft. But we can improve it. I taught voice lessons for many years and had several students come to me that couldn’t match a pitch but after a year of hard work, could sing great. We can increase our abilities with hard work and discipline to ensure that we’re ready when God opens a door of opportunity. 

EMOTIONAL FORTITUDE – Fortitude is mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously. We could have talent and time but be bound by fear or insecurity that holds us back from our full capacity. When God calls us to do something big, something that stretches us to our full capacity, we must be emotionally ready to withstand the pressure. It takes time but it is so important to pursue healing from emotional hurts that can hold you back from the great things you can accomplish.

GRACE – The key ingredient to living a life full of purpose and accomplishment is the divine ability of God. Have you ever tried to pursue something and it felt like every door slammed in your face? But then you hear directly from God to do something and it’s like a red carpet of provision and favor rolls out before you? Grace is the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God. Grace is also defined as the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.

When God orders something, He pays the bill.

If we’ve been diligent to make room in our lives for His big plans, He will give us the grace to accomplish them with excellence. 

If we have created margin/space in our time, if we have worked on our craft (be ready in and out of season), if we have submitted our mind, will and emotions to Him for clarity, direction and healing, then when He leads, we will have the capacity to follow.

Whether it’s leading a Bible study, homeschooling your kids, or taking on a leadership role at church, don’t say, “I could never do that.” Ask God, “Do you want me to do that?” And if the answer is yes, His grace will be there to sustain you.

So what are you waiting for? Start increasing your capacity today and get ready for big things!

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