“We’ve passed through fire and flood, yet in the end you
always bring us out better than we were before,
saturated with your goodness.”
(Psalm 66:12 TPT)
I believe many of us in 2019 are going to experience a fresh saturation of God’s goodness.
The past few years have been some of the most challenging and though God has not caused the trouble we have seen in our lives, He has and will certainly use it.
This is shown to us again and again throughout the scriptures:
After the desert came the Promised Land;
After prison came the promotion;
After the fiery furnace came the fourth man;
After the Cross came the resurrection.
Blessing would not shine as bright without the battle; it is the battle which puts blessing into perspective.
For those who have endured the battle, and not quit, there is great blessing ahead.
One of the Oxford dictionary definitions of the word saturated is: Having or holding as much as can be absorbed of something.
The verse above shows us that, in Christ, unbearable challenge can usher in unlimited goodness – as much as can be absorbed.
The implication shows that capacity is not determined by the content, but defined by the container holding that content.
We are the containers holding God’s goodness, and therefore doorkeeper over that flow permeating our lives.
Do we truly think God would say ‘You have too much of my goodness, I’m going to stop blessing you now’? Of course not! He has plenty of goodness for all of His children, for all of eternity.
So why doesn’t He release it at will, regardless of our level of expectancy?
I believe there are several reasons, but one is His desire to see us walking boldly in our identity as His children.
We are not beggars hoping to gain God’s favour on a good day.
We are children of a Father who multiplied food for the multitudes, faithfully led thousands of people in the wilderness, and who is extravagant enough to have streets of gold paving the way toward our heavenly homes.
He wants us to ask Him for what we need (Matt. 7:7) because one of His names is Jehovah Jireh, the God who Provides. Providing – giving – is simply who He is.
As we are made in His image, giving should also be who we are!
I believe one of the reasons He loves to abundantly bless us, is to give us the resources to generously bless others.
But we cannot give what we do not carry.
Today in the western world, especially in leadership circles, we often hear the word capacity. Conferences are built around tools which help increase capacity and deference is given to those who can maintain peace while maximising productivity.
Developing capacity is not a bad objective and I agree with enlarging our ability to fulfil God’s calling on our lives. (Though not at the expense of peace – remember, life is not a competition.)
Yet with all the talk about capacity development, how many of us intentionally increase our capacity to receive God’s goodness?
Are we regularly stretching ourselves to believe for more of God’s blessings?
For the first 28 years of my Christian walk I had moments of believing for blessing in my life, usually followed by deep feelings of guilt for appearing greedy and ‘worldly’.
Running safely back to the familiarity of unbelief and a lifestyle of ‘hoping’, I became what the book of James describes as a ship tossed to and fro, with no sense of anchor or focus.
I will never forget the day I read Proverbs 10:22, ‘The blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds no sorrow with it’.
I did a double take. I read it again. I looked up the Hebrew for the word ‘rich’. I was gobsmacked that it meant . . . rich.
I had been a Christian nearly 28 years and had never seen this before:
God wants to bless me and He has no problem with riches.
Suddenly, I had a great desire to increase my capacity.
One of the gems I have discovered as I continue to study this area, and something I have personally encountered, is the extravagant goodness of God.
It has opened my eyes to the heart of God and the possibility of the believer.
Now my increase of capacity isn’t about what I can gain, but rather what I can give.
Psalm 119:68 says ‘He is good and He does good, teach me your statutes’.
It cannot get much clearer than that; God can be nothing other than good. Jesus Himself said that no-one is good except God (Mark 10:18).
But His blessings can be limited in our lives if we do not understand our identity as children of God.
One of the ways we create ‘leaks’ in our container is when we stop believing in God’s inherent goodness.
The minute we allow doubt to creep into our vocabulary, and lifestyle, it punches a metaphorical hole in our faith.
We might have a shipping container sized faith, but one small hole of doubt decreases our capacity to carry what He wants to give.
If I am going to leak, I want to spill God’s blessings over others, not squander God’s goodness out of doubt.
So, how do we intentionally increase our capacity to receive more of God’s goodness?
This happens through expectation, meditating on scriptures which speak of His goodness/provision/blessings, giving generously and walking in love and forgiveness.
As we approach 2019 I challenge you to choose one of these areas to intentionally focus on: expecting a positive outcome / meditating on the word / giving / walking in love.
Then start believing for increase and living to leak!