Over a period of four years from 2015, Helen and I moved four times! We downsized significantly the first move, then went to a similar sized property, then a larger house (church manse), and finally downsized to our present home. The great challenges of downsizing are clearing out what is no longer necessary and finding room for what is needed.
Leviticus 26 outlines the blessings of walking in Covenant obedience with the Lord, including the reaping of a well sufficient harvest. Verse 10 says, “You will eat of the old supply and clear out the old because of the new.” We are nourished and built up over the years as we walk with the Lord. This is in preparation for an increase of His unfolding purpose and greater fruitfulness in and through us. There is both an invitation and a challenge to then clear out what is left of the old to make room for the new!
We may need to clear out some old patterns and ways of thinking; some methods and means that may have served well in the past; and old ways of planning when life seemed more predictable. There will not be a ‘getting back to’ what we had as significant shifts have taken place. Instead, we are ‘going beyond’ because the Lord has already gone ahead!
For now, there are four things that it would be wise to focus on:
First, Being Prepared
Being prepared for any outcome, eventuality and opportunity. Church planter Neil Cole, in his book Rising Tides, says, “We can prepare for any future. Rather than a strategic plan, what we really need are strategic people. We need to be a people who can take advantage of whatever comes our way.” A man or woman well prepared in the Lord will be ready to respond to the fresh call of the Spirit of God as He moves in ways outside of our best laid plans.
If we are not continuing to learn now, we may be left floundering in what is next. Philosopher Eric Hoffer said, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” The disciple who stops learning stagnates. When we stop asking, seeking and knocking we may find ourselves sleeping through the opportunity that comes to our door.
In the mist of uncertainty and midst of change, God is inviting those with eyes to see to look once again. When Peter, James and John were overcome with sleep on the Mount of Transfiguration the Scripture says, “When they were fully awake, they saw His glory.” (Luke 9:32). The word for “fully awake” can also be translated “to watch through,” giving the idea of seeing through the obvious and beyond the natural. It is to see what few others do, which is the call of a prophetic people. First and foremost, we see the glory of the Lord and then see all else in the light of His glory.
Fourth, Making Room
There is a greater harvest and many unexpected opportunities awaiting those who will get prepared, learn, see and make room. We can have a pre-occupation with busy-ness. We have sought it as if it equals fruitfulness. We have valued it as if it means significance. We have even prided ourselves in it as if it were a badge of honour. It is time to leave the busy-ness and business as usual, and find the new opportunities that are being presented.
Acts 10 relates the account of a seismic shift for the early church and for the spread of the Good News. But imagine if Peter had been too busy to go and sit on the roof and pray. Imagine if, in response to Cornelius’ messengers, Peter had replied that he could maybe come a week on Wednesday once there was space in his diary. Thankfully, Peter did pray and received a heavenly vision that corrected his presumptions and opened up the boundaries of the Kingdom. Thankfully, Peter went, seeing the unexpected opportunity and recognising the fresh working of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s keep asking:
- In what ways do I need to be prepared? And how do we prepare a people ready for any outcome and every opportunity?
- What am I learning? What do I need to learn?
- What am I seeing? What do I need to see?
- What do I need to make room for? How will I do this?
4 thoughts on “Making Room”
Really helpful, thank you
Another great article, Steven. Reflecting this morning … “Imagine if Peter had been too busy to go and sit on the roof and pray.”
I received so much from this article Steven. The business and taking time to pray was particularly significant.
Such a great article. It is like devotional super food – packed with goodness! This quote from Eric Hoffer, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” is brilliant! Thank you Steven for writing this. I’m re-reading it.