How much space have you given God to move in your life? God will consume as much of you as you make available to Him.
“‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’” (Matt. 7:7 KJV).
If you really want God to work in and through your life, then make some space!
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matt. 16:24 ESV).
What does it mean to deny yourself? It means to surrender your whole heart to God. Create more space for Him to move. Allow Him to consume every fiber and facet of your being.
But if you, like me, are asking God to consume more of your heart, then look out! Prepare to be uncomfortable. Prepare to be challenged. Prepare to not understand, comprehend, or explain His love.
However, the search is worth it. The surrender is worth it. I don’t know about you, but I never want to compromise the power of God because of the views of man. I’m made to have an incredibly intimate relationship with my daddy. And yes, that sounds crazy. But here’s the thing: religion doesn’t settle it with me.
I am made for relationship.
But remember, seeking God more is often uncomfortable. After all, to gain more of Him, we must lose more of ourselves. Pruning is a painful process.
Jesus says, “‘I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me’” (John 15:1-4 NLT).
I don’t know about you, but I want God to prune me. I want to know Him more. I don’t ever want to become complacent in my relationship with Jesus Christ. There is more of Him to experience.
I believe many “Christians” have stopped short. Become content. Allowed a tradition to limit God’s space to move. A man’s doctrine to overshadow God’s potential to act. Make no mistake about it, God can do anything. But He needs our space.
As I conclude, I want to share with you a story of a church that made room for God. The church in Thessalonica. The Apostle Paul described the church when he wrote:
“And now the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere, even beyond Macedonia and Achaia, for wherever we go we find people telling us about your faith in God. We don’t need to tell them about it, for they keep talking about the wonderful welcome you gave us and how you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God. And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead. He is the one who has rescued us from the terrors of the coming judgement” (1 Thess. 1:8-10 NLT).
I’m particularly drawn to the phrase, “the word of the Lord is ringing out from you to people everywhere.” The Thessalonians carried a living Gospel. They didn’t need to explain Jesus with words. Their actions carried the weight of their evangelism. In fact, Paul said he didn’t even need to tell people about the Thessalonians’ faith. Why? Because they created an unreserved space for God to move. And look what God did.
You see, the church in Thessalonica gave themselves wholeheartedly to God.
“‘Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back’” (Luke 6:38 NLT).
Today, God wants to challenge us. He wants to check our hearts. He wants to take away the things that hold us back. It’s time to experience the genuine, loving, creative Jesus who forgives our sins and gives us freedom.
God says, “Give me space!”
Isaiah Pauley is a senior at Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.