“Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” They ought to be! Your ability to see your future should be greater than your ability to accomplish it. Dave Gilpin takes some hear’ say phrases and looks at the leadership truths behind them.
LET YOUR EYES BE BIGGER THAN YOUR STOMACH
Say, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” They ought to be! Your ability to see your future should be greater than your ability to accomplish it. My boy loves buffets. He gets excited when he knows there is one approaching, and since the church I pastor believes in hospitality, there’s always one for him to look forward to. With bulging eyes, he attempts to pile as much as he can onto his plate and then tries to eat it. From his point of view, the problem is not that his eyes are bigger than his stomach but that his stomach is too small for his eyes. The wisdom of only putting on your plate what you can comfortably digest is good for the body, but no good for breaking into divine possibilities. Your eyes don’t need to get smaller; your stomach just needs to get bigger!
SEEING IS BELIEVING
People cut life according to the cloth available and not according to their God given vision. Your life in God is determined not by the size of your talent or wallet, but by your ability to see as God sees. A craftsman and a hobbyist are very different in the way they go about things. A hobbyist gathers all the bits he can find and after looking them over, says to himself, “I’ll see what I can make.” A craftsman takes his dream and declares, “I’ll make what I can see.” Seeing really is believing.
One day two blind men pursued Jesus crying out, “Son of David, have mercy on us.” Jesus asked them if they believed if he was able to heal them. Their reply was a definitive, “Yes.” Jesus touched their eyes and declared, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” Their eyes were opened (Matthew 9:27-31). Faith determined their outcome. Faith has eyes to see the future as God sees it. It has been remarked, “Eyes that look are common, but eyes that see are rare!”
When attempting to purchase a building that would house the vision of our growing church, I had several interesting meetings with the owner. Formerly, the building was owned by ‘Spear and Jackson’ and was the factory that made their legendary garden tools. Sheffield, known as the steel city, once served 50% of Europe’s stainless steel demand and this building, near the City centre, is a momento of a by-gone era. With little in the bank, the owner suggested that we bought or leased one floor of the three floors available. It was an attractive offer, and after a couple of weeks had passed I began to think that he could be right. Shortly after this my receptionist came to me with a strong word of advice taken from a Bible story about a young woman called Ruth. One day, her mother-in-law Naomi, sensing the destiny between Ruth and a man called Boaz, encouraged Ruth to make a bold move toward Boaz by sleeping at his feet one night. Although I certainly did not feel I wanted to sleep at the feet of the owner of this building, I got the message!
LET YOUR EYES BE BIGGER THAN YOUR STOMACH
Ruth wanted Boaz’s hand in marriage. I really wanted all three storeys of this building. God spoke to me, “Don’t downsize your vision in times of difficulty.” To cut a long story short, we bought all three storeys in a sensational deal and now it is one of the largest church buildings in the whole of Great Britain. According to your faith be it unto you.
The most important thing to know about faith is that it is the currency of heaven. If I went to Australia and bought a car, I would pay in Dollars. If I went to Denmark, I would pay in Kroners. You can’t use another country’s currency to pay for another country’s goods. Likewise, Paul’s letter to the Romans expressly says that we access the grace of God by faith (Romans 5:2). Faith is the currency of heaven – not sacrifice or works – but faith. Faith accesses grace. Our works of service are a necessary transport of our faith to the Bank of Grace, but the transaction is in response to our faith. God’s grace is His divine, undeserved favour towards us. It is more than justification and forgiveness. It includes peace, joy and power as well as all His provision for the vision. Your faith is a precious commodity. Build a hothouse environment about you and protect your God-given gift.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT!
Faith comes from hearing from God (Romans 10:17). You can’t make it up. It is a divine original, a unique revelation, a special word to you from God. You can’t say to someone, “Get some faith.” Faith is a by-product of listening to the voice of God. If you’ve heard from God, you’ve got faith. It is not an emotion. It is a deep-rooted conviction that God will do what He said He’d do. Eventually, this conviction at the core of your being needs to infiltrate your mind and should be evidenced by various faith actions.
The devil’s great trick is to make you believe that you had faith on Sunday but that it has gone by Monday. Not true. If you really had it on Sunday, you’ve still got it on Monday. Don’t believe the enemy’s lies! In fact, many Christians have thousands of seeds of “let your eyes be bigger than your stomach” faith already planted in their spirit from those times when God has spoken to them. They may seem to be non-existent, but don’t believe it. If you continue to think and live according to your faith, you will then see God-given harvests – according to your faith.
THE TARRANT SPIRIT
I often tell people to be aware of the ‘Tarrant spirit.’ Chris Tarrant is the highly successful anchorman to the great British re-invention of the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The contestant may be certain the answer is Napoleon, and she declares her intention by running with that answer. But, after a pregnant pause, Chris Tarrant leans over and says, “Confident?” His job is to simply sow a seed of doubt. The contestant now reviews their answer, and questions their convictions. It could be Alexander the Great, but they stick with Napoleon. After another long pause Chris Tarrant says, “Sure?” That sends the contestant into a flurry of indecision. It is these long delays of doubt that are edited from the show so that it is viewer-friendly. The answer could now be Ivan the Terrible, Ghengis Khan, Napoleon or Alexander the Great. Finally, the contestant begins to swell with a rising confidence that they started with and boldly declares what they knew all along. In response to further interrogation, they now add the words, “Without a shadow of doubt,” and accordingly, Napoleon is lit up irreversibly in green on the screen. They are then told that they had £30,000 and now they have (long pause) £60,000. Chris takes his opportunity for a quick game-show hug.
The Tarrant spirit almost won. It is designed to bring over the contestant a shadow of doubt. It is so important after hearing from God, to stay away from shadows. Doubt is the enemy of faith. Doubt actually means, ‘to stand in two ways’ or a ‘wavering between two opinions.’ The shadow of doubt is an oscillation between the word of God being true, and the word of God being false. Make a decision today to stand on what God says and refuse to come under the shadow of doubt. Jesus said that if you have faith and don’t doubt then you can see even the mountains move! (Mark 11:22-24)
CAN YOU HAVE MORE FAITH?
Often people say that it takes more faith to believe for a million pounds than it does to believe for ten pounds. Not necessarily! To a bible college student, ten pounds can be like a million! What you need today will take faith. What you need in ten years will take faith. It is simply faith for different things!
Reinhardt Bonnke does not necessarily have more faith than you do in his mission to see Africa saved. Did God speak to you about Africa? Probably not. God spoke to Reinhardt and faith resulted. Hopefully, you are in the place that God has spoken to you about. You’ve got faith. Reinhardt has faith. This example shows that we don’t have less faith, just faith for different things! Stop comparing yourself to others. You have a unique call and a great measure of faith. You can only be a better you, not a better someone else. Life is not always about having more faith, but having less doubt – closing down the deceptive voice that tells you that you can’t, and sticking with your real convictions.
It is time to enlarge your eyes. It is time to see the future as God sees it and let your capacity, your spiritual stomach, catch up with your vision. Within you already are seeds of faith that are destined to bring about an incredible harvest. Value those seeds as incredibly precious and protect them with all you’ve got.
Taken from the book SQ: BOOST YOUR SPIRITUAL INTELLIGENCE