Living Beyond Your Capacity by Paul Chappell
Understanding the Spirit-filled Life
Paul Chappell is one of my favorite authors, and Living Beyond Your Capacity was motivating, convicting, and inspirational for me. I encourage you to purchase and read the entire book, it is full of sound wisdom.
My Favorite Quotes
- The only thing that will outlive your short life on this planet is the eternal purpose of God being fulfilled through your life.
- The Holy Spirit calls us out of aimless living and engages us in God’s eternal cause. He stirs our hearts with a passion to do more than merely exist.
- Jesus would rather us not minister than attempt ministry in our own power. (Acts 1:4)
- Your gift perfectly matches your calling. It’s what you love to do.
- Guaranteed, a day lived in the filling of the Holy Spirit is dramatically different from one lived without Him.
- Day by day, you may not feel like you are growing, but year by year, you will be able to look back and see a great transformation.
- What are you doing that has eternal value?
- When others spend time with you or see your life, do they see unquestionable evidence of God?
- Will the daily practices of your life change because of what you have read?
Part One: The Ministry of the Holy Spirit
Who is the Holy Spirit?
What is He like?
How does He think?
What is His purpose?
One: His Saving Ministry
- The Holy Spirit Invites
- The Holy Spirit Convicts
- The Holy Spirit Regenerates
- The Holy Spirit Indwells
- The Holy Spirit Seals
- The Holy Spirit Renews
- The Holy Spirit Gives Assurance
Two: His Sanctifying Ministry
- The Holy Spirit Searches
- The Holy Spirit Convicts
- The Holy Spirit Teaches
- The Holy Spirit Reminds
- The Holy Spirit Enlightens
- The Holy Spirit Produces Growth
- The Holy Spirit Produces Holiness
Three: His Strengthening Ministry
- The Holy Spirit Leads and Guides
- The Holy Spirit Assures
- The Holy Spirit Comforts
- The Holy Spirit Intercedes
- The Holy Spirit Gives Patience and Hope
- The Holy Spirit Renews Strength
Four: His Serving Ministry (Part One)
The only thing that will outlive your short life on this planet is the eternal purpose of God being fulfilled through your life. What are you doing that has eternal value?
The Holy Spirit calls us out of aimless living and engages us in God’s eternal cause. He stirs our hearts with a passion to do more than merely exist.
Jesus would rather us not minister than attempt ministry in our own power. (Acts 1:4)
- The Holy Spirit Calls Us
- The Holy Spirit Empowers Us
Five: His Serving Ministry (Part Two)
- The Holy Spirit Enables Us
- The Holy Spirit Gives Boldness
- The Holy Spirit Engages Us
- The Holy Spirit Unifies Us
- The Holy Spirit Exalts Christ
Part Two: The Spirit-Filled Life
What does it mean to be Spirit-filled?
What is the daily battle?
How can the battle be won?
Six: The Struggle of the Spirit
- The Struggle with the Flesh
- Rebirth, Renewal, Redemption
- Rebirth is Immediate at Salvation (John 3:3-5)
- Renewal is a Lifelong, Daily Process (2 Corinthians 4:12)
- Redemption is a Future Promise
The struggle portrayed in Romans 7 is often frustrating, but God chose the process. He chose to glorify Himself through the daily transformation of your life.
The struggle of the Spirit, when handled properly, will victoriously bring for wonderful fruit.
Seven: The Sword of the Spirit
- The Powerful Sword of the Spirit
- The Holy Spirit Uses Scriptures
- The Power of the Sword
- Learning to Use the Sword
The problem is that our Bibles are unread, unused, and unstudied, and the Holy Spirit is ignored and unwelcome.
Eight: The Stream of the Spirit (Part One)
Such is the Christian life – we are organic. It all starts in the fertile soil of a soft heart, seeded with the Word of God, and then nourished with the watering presence of the Holy Spirit. Our spiritual lives are made to grow from these three elements working together.
It is possible to become discouraged, distracted, and disinterested until we stop growing.
Abiding in the Vine
The Lord wants us to continually bear fruit that glorifies Him.
One purpose of this abiding relationship is that fruit might abound outwardly-that our lives might make manifest the presence of God.
When others spend time with you or see your life, do they see unquestionable evidence of God?
Christians who live in the power of the Holy Spirit are a marvel to the secular world.
Fruit is the natural product of a nourishing relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is not produced by self-will or iron determination. It is produced by God’s Spirit. You choose to abide in the Vine, and the fruit will flow forth naturally.
The Fruit of the Spirit
- The Holy Spirit Produces Love
- The Holy Spirit Produces Joy
- The Holy Spirit Produces Peace
- The Holy Spirit Produces Longsuffering
Researchers have found no correlation between income levels and happiness. -Cited from The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loeher
Peace is not being where there is no storm or difficulty. Peace is being in the midst of all those things and remaining calm in your heart.
Date Palm trees do not produce fruit until their fourth year, and their fruit-bearing does not become prosperous until approximately the 80th year. The trees don’t reach their full potential until they are one hundred years old.
Nine: The Stream of the Spirit (Part Two)
- The Holy Spirit Produces Gentleness
- The Holy Spirit Produces Goodness
- The Holy Spirit Produces Faith
- The Holy Spirit Produces Meekness
- The Holy Spirit Produces Temperance
The Holy Spirit Produces Gentleness
Seek to display God’s gentleness in all of your relationships in four key ways:
Spontaneity is thoughtfulness in action. Always looking for ways to serve or care.
The Holy Spirit Produces Meekness
The display of meekness requires uncommon strength.
The Holy Spirit Produces Temperance
When you yield to the Holy Spirit’s power, temperance will show up in three primary areas:
- A Disciplined Physical Life
- A Disciplined Speech
- A Disciplined Mind
Spiritual people are not known for lies, gossip, slander, insult, or verbal injury. Ephesians 4:29
You are meant to bear fruit, but you can only do so as you grow in the Holy Spirit and walk with Him.
Spiritual fruit is evidence of a right relationship with God. The absence of fruit is convicting because it reveals the lack of a faithful, private walk with Christ.
Trying to produce this fruit apart from the Holy Spirit is frustrating because it’s impossible.
Ten: The Supply of the Spirit
Your gift perfectly matches your calling. It’s what you love to do.
An Explanation of Spiritual Gifts
The great result of using your gifts is that others are helped.
Local church life should be a fully engaged life-it should be an immersive experience-plunging your whole heart into participation, growth, fellowship, and service with God’s people.
The early Christians made their spiritual growth and ministry a steadfast priority in life. Acts 2:42
As you discover your God-given gift and become active in serving with it, your spiritual growth will accelerate rapidly.
What are the Spiritual Gifts?
- Prophecy (Preaching)
- Ministry (Helps)
- Exhortation (Encouragement)
- Ruling (Administration)
A Three-Part Challenge Concerning Your Spiritual Gifts
- Discover Your Spiritual Gifts (here is a free test from Striving Together Publications)
- Develop Your Spiritual Gifts
- Deploy Your Spiritual Gifts
Do everything you can to develop your spiritual gift. Use it and refine it. Read, study, and practice.
Those with the gift of administration are bringing order to teams and projects – helping to bring strategy and order to the vision and making it a reality.
[For more on spiritual gifts, you can read my summary of Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.]
Eleven: The Sins Against the Spirit
- We Can Lie to the Spirit
- We Can Quench the Spirit
- We Can Grieve the Spirit
- Resisting and Blaspheming the Spirit
When it comes to spiritual life, don’t fake it!
We Can Grieve the Spirit
Do you marvel to think that you have the power to bring heaviness or sorrow to the Holy Spirit of God? This implies intimacy and closeness.
God desires spiritual intimacy with your heart. The moment you sense you have done something to grieve the Holy Spirit, make it right.
“…if we are full of pride and conceit and ambition and self-seeking and pleasure and the world, there is no room for the Spirit of God…” -D.L. Moody
When we make a habit of offending the Holy Spirit, we are robbing ourselves of the greatest joys of the Christian life.
Twelve: The Spirit-Filled Life
“Die to self and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” -Dr. Lee Roberson
The Holy Spirit will bring power and transformation into your life that you could otherwise never know. He will lead you into a life abundant and full – a life beyond your capacity.
Will the daily practices of your life change because of what you have read?
Be Filled with the Spirit
Being filled with the Spirit is the act of emptying myself of known sin, and yielding myself completely to the Holy Spirit.
We live every day either in service to the flesh or the control of the Spirit.
- Being filled with the Spirit is a daily decision.
- Being filled with the Spirit is moment-by-moment.
- Being filled with the Spirit is “by faith.”
- Being filled with the Spirit helps me grow in developing the mind of Christ.
- Being filled with the Spirit is about repentance, restoration, and forgiveness.
Being filled with the Spirit is a daily decision.
Ask Him to fill you and control you throughout the day.
Consider beginning each day praying something like this:
“Holy Spirit of God, thank You for being my comforter and guide today. As best as I know how I yield myself to You right now. I ask You to fill me, control me, lead me, and guide me. I need You today. I choose to be a servant of righteousness. I choose to follow Your call. I choose to live in the Spirit, to be spiritually minded, and I ask You to have complete control of my life as I serve You today.”
Being filled with the Spirit is “by faith.”
Guaranteed, a day lived in the filling of the Holy Spirit is dramatically different from one lived without Him.
Being filled with the Spirit helps me grow in developing the mind of Christ.
Day by day, you may not feel like you are growing, but year by year, you will be able to look back and see a great transformation.
Have patience as you yield to the Holy Spirit. His work is intended to take a lifetime.
Being filled with the Spirit is about repentance, restoration, and forgiveness.
Living a Spirit-filled life requires a quick response to sin.
The Spirit-filled life runs from sin and embraces holiness.
Walk in the Spirit
In every possible situation, you must choose between the will of the flesh and the will of the Spirit.
Little decisions, when put together, make a life.
“I challenge you to develop a lifestyle of walking in the Spirit.” – Paul Chappell
Pray in the Spirit
The more I walk with Him, the more normal it becomes to talk with him throughout the day.
Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to pray.
The day will eventually come when you will probably talk more to the Holy Spirit than you do to any other person in your life. He’s with you every moment and you will remember and acknowledge Him constantly.
Thirteen: A Portrait of a Spirit-Filled Man
One of the greatest examples of Spirit-filled living is the man Stephen. Acts 6:1-8.
Being Spirit-filled has nothing to do with your own greatness or your own ability.
- The Ministry of a Spirit-filled Man
- The Message of a Spirit-filled Man
- The Manner of a Spirit-filled Man
The Ministry of a Spirit-filled Man
- Stephen was a leader in his local church.
- Stephen was full of faith.
- Stephen was full of the Holy Ghost.
- Stephen was full of power.
When you serve God in the power and fulness of His Spirit, the results will be bigger than you.
The Message of a Spirit-filled Man
- Stephen’s message was filled with the Word of God.
- Stephen’s message was fervent in opposition.
- Stephen’s message was focused on Christ.
The Manner of a Spirit-filled Man
The Spirit gave Stephen an intentional purpose in life.
- Stephen was bold in preaching.
- Stephen was gracious under pressure.
- Stephen was a faithful witness.
- Stephen was a forgiving martyr.
One of the most glaring indicators that the Holy Spirit isn’t in control of a believer’s life is an unforgiving spirit.
Conclusion: Living Beyond Your Capacity
God used three key leaders to accomplish his purpose of rebuilding the temple:
- Zechariah the Prophet
- Zerubbabel the Governor
- Joshua the High Priest
God’s work in you, God’s work in your church, and God’s work in this dark day can still be accomplished by His Spirit. “...Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
God’s Spirit is our limitless supply of power, strength, hope, and joy.
You can look within and see your own limitations. Or you can look up and see God’s offer of fresh anointing from His Holy Spirit. Look up!