“I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
You don’t need to have all your “I know how’s” right before you begin to walk in leadership. Leadership itself will teach you some of the “I know how’s” that are vital to a matured kingdom leader.
You may start out abounding. Many who start out abounding lack the “I know how” of abasement. They start with enough supply for ten years and blow it all in ten months. They enter the abasement season without an “I know how” for suffering lack, without the needed experience of trusting God and praying things to pass. They feast on the seed they should be planting because they think it is heavenly welfare.
You may start out abased. Many who begin abased lack the “I know how” of abounding. They fear risk so much they become hoarders. They fail to feed momentum with supply because they have no experience for investment. They see supply without a connection to harvest cycles. They store the seed that God gave them for planting.
Everywhere will test you. All things will test you. Full will test you. Hunger will test you. Abounding will test you. The pathos of need will test you.
The result that Father produces is not abasement or abounding but surrender to the Source of enabling strength.
This refrigerator magnet, coaching and cheerleading verse, bumper sticker motto is nearly always quoted without the context of “I know how’s.” It usually says, “I can do whatever I want, and Jesus will give me the strength to do it” when it comes out of people’s mouths.
The strength of Christ leads you into “I know how’s” training and experiences of real-life that keep you a short distance from addiction to victimization or victory.
Christ strengthens you to lose as much as He strengthens you to win. “All things” and “everywhere” include – well – it consists of all things. You are strengthened by Christ to mourn as well as celebrate, to be filled with gratitude as well as grief.
- “All things” means the present circumstance calls you to the Source.
- “Everywhere” means the current location calls you to the Source.
Fathering Inheritors to “I Know How” Maturity
The leader sitting in front of me says, “We are going out now. We are not going to wait. We have a vision. We have an inheritance. We are tired of hanging out here.”
I answered, “No, you need another five years.”
I knew they lacked the “I know how’s” for what God was calling them to lead. I knew they had ex[erienced the abounding because I had “spoiled” them by handing them everything they were doing. They had no “I know how” for pioneering but they were called to pioneer.
This is common when training people to do things. They assume that doing things with a father means they did them. They will assume, as these dear ones did, that they pioneered something that a father was using to train them. They start thinking they can do all things because they are doing things. They are doing all things through a father who is doing all things through Christ, but they think they can do all things through Christ without that father.
They do not have their own “I know how’s” right yet.
Mostly, I knew they had no “I know how” for the level of humility requires to receive the strength from a source other than themselves. They were even asking me to step aside because I brought confusion to what they were doing as if they were doing it in spite of me instead of through me.
If they had their own “I know how’s” right, they would be doing these things now. Instead, they are wasting prodigals.
They had no “I know how” that they realized came from another source’s “I know how.” So, they cannot do all things everywhere through Christ who strengthens them. If they could, they would be doing it now.
Instead of striving for self-sufficiency to prove, like a childish some “No, I do it” independence – good at some stages but devasting for adults – and, I knew they would go and waste away.
They went. They wasted away.
“I Know How” Surrender
Just experiencing things does not produce “I Know How’s.” The experiences you have can reoccur regularly as a cycle without you learning surrender to the Source. A high percentage of people with experiences do not learn surrender because they do not submit to the pathos of the process.
This is Paul’s testimony of fathering leadership maturity: “I have been through it “everywhere” and in “all things,” but I got my “I know how’s” right. Paul says, “I have more than experience of abounding and abasement. I have learned obedience through submission. I have a “know-how” based upon surrender to the strength of Christ, not my own.
The verse of enabling strength is not about Christ making you a winner. It is about Christ sustaining you as a loser or winner because the “I know how’s” you need to represent Him come from surrender, not success.
Do not release people who can do the stuff until they are people who can do without the stuff.