Making Room

19 11 2010

The Pharisees are my friends. Sometimes they are my friends because I find myself standing in their shoes. I have a tendency to harden my heart and pass judgment on things I don’t understand, but think I do. They are my friends because in so many ways they do me a service. I can listen to their conversations, look at their motives, and use their actions as a mirror for my own.

I read the stories of the Pharisees and often shake my head. How could they be so stubborn, so blind, so full of themselves even as they stand in the very presence of God? If I take a step back, I realize that it isn’t so hard at all. I do it all the time.

Jesus’ words to the Pharisees provide the remedy for their short-sightedness. In John 8:37, Jesus says, “I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.” No room for His word. That statement hit me hard. Making room for His word is the key. Creating space for God to fill my heart is what makes the difference.

When I have no room for His word, I am full of myself. My agenda, my priorities, my perspective, and my desires rule the day. I don’t even think it is deliberate stubbornness that gets me in that place. I get busy, tired, distracted, overwhelmed, and discouraged and let those things take hold of my heart. Fear, worry, and anxiety take up room that should belong to God. They push Jesus to the margins and allow me to stand on center stage where my inner Pharisee loves to be in the spotlight.

Making room for God in our lives is a deliberate act of surrender. It means dedicating time – time to be with Him, time to be quiet before Him, time to praise Him, time to let Him work out His purpose in me. It demands sacrifice – sacrificing my desires, my will, my control, and my tendency to fill myself up with things other than Jesus. It requires reorienting my focus – asking Him to help me see what I have allowed in that is crowding Him out of my heart.

My Jesus Resolution today is to make more room for His word. I am going to get rid of the junk I allow to stack up in my life, and create more space for God. I want Him to inhabit my praise. I long for Him to dwell fully in my words, thoughts, and actions. I want Him to be completely at home in my heart. I am going to thank the Pharisees and move in the opposite direction. I am going to make room for His word.


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