Recently my heart has been stirred about the things we make time for and the things that we never seem to have enough time for. What we make room for in our lives is a direct indicator of where our priorities lie. My thought processes came to a head the other night when I was spending some time talking to a friend about how it seems that churches are afraid of moments of silence in their services. It seems that every moment of a worship service is filled with something and that God would have to make an appointment months in advance if He actually wanted to show up and say something. It is because of these thoughts that this year I am going to work on making room for God in my life to a much greater degree.
Why Does God Need Some Elbow Room?
If God is Omnipresent and dwells within each of us, why do we need to make room for God? Isn’t God big enough to announce His presence with loud fanfare and extreme power? Of course He is! However, that is not His nature to do so except in extreme circumstances. It is the exception to the rule rather than the rule. The Holy Spirit is depicted in scriptures as a gentle dove. The Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30) and quenched (1 Thessalonians 5:19). These are not characteristics of a gregarious and forceful nature but instead are the characteristics of someone who does not forcefully draw attention to oneself. He leaves it to us as to whether or not we will listen to that still small voice and the gentle cooing of a dove to lead and guide us in what we do.
This is contrary to how we normally live our lives. We fill our lives with activities and plans and do not take the time to make room for hearing before we go out and busy ourselves with things. Recently I read a report that we spend enough hours in a day watching TV, that for every 7 years we live, we spend 1 year in front of the television. We are so entertainment minded, so consumer orientated, that we do not realize how much time we spend filling our time with things that honestly have no eternal value. This whole mentality has crept into our lives, our culture, and our churches that we fill every moment with something that occupies our time and keeps us entertained. We don’t even see the value in silence and just listening anymore.
Why Is It Up To Us To Make Room For God?
God does not force us to do anything. He gently leads and guides us in the paths we need to go.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.
In this passage we are given 3 ingredients to help us make room for God. We are to trust, lean not, and acknowledge. Notice that we have an active role in making room for God to move in our lives. If the Holy Spirit is like a gentle dove, then those 3 things need to be done with quietness, gentleness and patience. It can’t be done with filling our lives with distractions, entertainment, and sitting there expecting someone else to do it for you. You can’t go buy “room for God” from Wal-Mart!
Look at it this way. Do you make room for your spouse? What about your kids? In a room full of busy adults, how long does it take you to notice the little tug on your shirt from your child wanting your attention? God is waiting for you to give Him your attention.
3 Ways We Can Make Room For God
- Make room for God in your daily activities. As you begin your day, make it a goal that as you go about each activity that you do, that you take a moment to get silent and listen. What is that still small voice telling you? What do you see God doing or wanting to do? Look at the world through His eyes for a second and evaluate what are His priorities vs. your priorities.
- Make room for God in your family life. Take a look at your spouse or your kids. What do you hear God saying about them? What would He likes to accomplish in their lives? Have you asked Him to come and speak to their hearts? Have you prayed for them, not only privately under your breath, but have you gone and just asked them to allow you to pray for them? Have you asked Him to show up in tangible ways?
- Make room for God in your worship. One of the biggest mistakes I believe the modern church is making is the idea that we have to keep the show rolling. If God truly inhabits the praises of His people, then why do we need to always be the center of attention? Why don’t we invite Him to come and move among His people? Why does it have to be a show with a time schedule and a format that we adhere to above all else? I understand the need for order and some type of progression but can’t we at least make time for God to come speak as well? I understand that He gifts people and that they are used by God but does that mean that is the only way He operates? Can we stop our need to be entertained and need to consume the latest teaching for a few moments to just listen and let God move? Can we actually make room for God in our busy worship schedule?
Who Is Lord Of The Church Both Individually and Corporately Anyway?
We give lip service all the time to Jesus being Lord of our lives and Lord of the church. It seems to me that we might give some time for that Lord and King to come and speak to His people.
“And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.
Notice that the Lord did not give ownership of the church to Peter. He said “I will build My church”
Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.
Unless we allow the Lord to build His house, unless we allow the Lord to be Lord of His church both as individual members of that church and corporately when we gather together, what we are doing really is in vain.
I don’t know about you, but I am challenged with this. So this year, it is my goal to make a lot more room for God in all of the areas of my life.
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