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Make Room For God
David A. DePra
While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleeps. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. (Matthew 9:18-25)
There is a principle which runs all through the Word of God.
It is the principle of inviting God, making room for God, of handing over
a situation to God. Seems simple
enough. But it is so often that
these simple things are the things we easily overlook.
These simple things hold the key to our living in, and walking with,
In the above account, Jesus was asked by a ruler to come and raise up a
little girl. When Jesus arrived at
the house, a funeral was already going on.
The “minstrels” were there playing the funeral music and many people
were mourning. The little girl was
dead, and there was apparently nothing anyone could do.
What Jesus said to the people when He arrived shows how gracious He is.
He said, “Give place.” In
other words, “Make room for Me.” Quite
amazing that God Incarnate would make such a request.
Yet He did. And the fact is,
He does the same in each of our lives. Jesus
Christ does not barge into people’s hearts and lives and do as He pleases.
This despite the fact that He wants to do much.
Rather, He must wait until He is invited.
He must wait until people “give place” or “make room.”
Now, this doesn’t mean that God sits in heaven and waits for us to take
the initiative. If He did, none of us would be saved. Jesus said, “No man comes to Me except the Father who sent
Me draw Him.” (John 6:44)
And we are saved “by grace through faith.”
God takes the initiative to save us.
But notice how this works. It
does not mean that God saves us whether we like it or not.
No. God HAS accomplished all
forgiveness and all Redemption through Jesus Christ whether we like it or not.
But in order for us to be saved, two things must happen.
First, God must reveal to us the Truth about what He has done in Christ.
He must, as it were, draw us to Jesus as Savior by showing us our need
for Him as sinners. Second, upon
seeing the Truth, we have to invite Jesus in.
And we always have the option of rejecting Him.
One thing, however, is for sure. Once
God takes the initiative to reveal to us the Truth about Christ, it is then
forever too late for us to plead ignorance.
We may not understand much or be able to tell anyone where it is in the
Bible, but once I see some light, I can never again say I have not seen.
I have. The choice is there.
I must either invite Jesus in, or be accountable for refusing Him.
Having said that, however, we must move on to matter beyond salvation.
It is one thing to be saved, but it does not automatically mean that
Jesus is yet invited into all of the areas of my life.
My surrender to Him at salvation may have been as real as can be, but how
much do I even know about my own heart? There
are many areas in our hearts and lives which are included in the overall
surrender we make to God, but which we must begin to practically and
experientially invite Jesus to occupy. This
is what we otherwise call the process of spiritual growth.
You will notice something quite ironic here.
The more we surrender to Jesus, the more we become enlarged.
Sure. In the kingdom of God,
I grow by becoming a little child. I
increase in Christ by decreasing in myself.
If I invite Jesus into my life, the result is not LESS room, but MORE
The Truth is, the moment I invite Jesus into a situation, He will begin a
work to make me big enough to contain Him.
Of course, I speak of FAITH. Jesus
will see to it that I become small enough in my own eyes so that He becomes
large enough to carry me through the situation, and through life.
Becoming Enlarged in Christ
When the Bible talks about becoming “enlarged” it uses a number of
different pictures. Sometimes it talks about the person becoming enlarged.
Other times it speaks of a large place, or uses some other analogy.
me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I
was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.
hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.
called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large
place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto
me? (Ps. 118:5-6)
We see here that enlargement speaks of FREEDOM TO MOVE.
It speaks of being STABLE. It
is a picture of being stronger, more able to move, and freer to live to God’s
The contrast between someone whose life is narrow, restricted, and like
that of a slave -- to this one of being enlarged -- is striking.
In Christ, we enter through a narrow gate to a wide realm of freedom,
wherein we have the power to believe and obey God – voluntarily and through
love. But if we enter through
another gate, a wider one, we end up in a narrow place.
It is a place where, at best, we are trying to obey God, but always
operating under a “fear of failure” mentality.
We can barely move, lest we make a mistake and come under wrath.
Again, get the irony. We
enter into a large place in Christ through a narrow gate.
We enter into a narrow place otherwise, through a wide gate.
The gate is obvious the key. There
is only ONE gate to God. His name
is Jesus Christ. He is the Door.
But what has this to do with “giving place to Jesus?”
Plenty. Once I invite Jesus
Christ to take over my life, He begins to enlarge me so that He can have the
freedom to live through me. Jesus
begins to dismantle and dismiss many of the things which are crowding out that
In the story of Jesus raising the ruler’s daughter, notice how he
“put forth” the people who scoffed at Him when He said the girl was only
sleeping. Jesus will “put
forth” everything in us of unbelief and scoffing.
He will make the room which was crowded with mourning and lamenting, be
cleared of those elements. Then He will turn and bring life out of death.
In the final analysis, when you make room for Jesus, He takes over. He enlarges you. He brings life out of those things you were having a funeral over. He sets your entire house in order.
In My Distress
It is without argument that we are enlarged only through distress. Only through the trial of faith, and even THEN – only if we endure and come through to God’s glory. Why? Why does it always have to be so hard? Why can’t God do it another way?
Well, God would do it another way if it was possible. He doesn’t delight in our suffering. But there is no other way. That is because of the way we are as creatures born of Adam. In short, we START with almost no room at all for God. We are all saddled with excess baggage. The rooms of our house – our heart – are loaded with broken down furniture, cobwebs, and darkness. It is almost impossible to find your way through that house, let alone more around in it.
The problem with this is that we are completely unaware of our condition until God reveals it to us. In fact, some of us are quite content with things the way they are. The fact that we live narrow lives, with almost no ability to live and move, escapes us. We are so used to it – it is all we have ever known. Thus, to us it is NORMAL.
So what happens the moment God begins to disturb the status quo of our life? We are distressed. In the beginning, we usually focus on the trial which is taking place, never realizing that the issue here is OWNERSHIP. God is trying to use the trial to get us to surrender to Him. THAT is the issue. And difficulty with life is usually the only way we will come to the place where we hand over our life.
The only way in which we will see the Truth about the condition of our lives is if God comes and shines a light on it – through trials which get at the heart and core of it. Then we will see our need for Christ and invite Him in. Until then, it is our nature to side-step the issue.
Distress occurs in the process of enlargement because we are “married” to those things which have been restricting our freedom in Christ. They don’t die easily. God has to clear them out so that He can bring life to the dead, and enlarge our place in HIM.
Making room for God, of course, results in freedom. This is the real picture behind becoming “enlarged.” In a bigger place, you can move around better. You are not hindered or restricted in your movements. Thus, if we invite Jesus into a situation, it is going to result in liberty.
And why wouldn’t it? After all, Jesus IS the Truth. So when we invite Him into a situation, we are inviting the Truth into a situation. That Truth will set us free.
Do you feel as if you are in a prison house? Perhaps closed in by your own emotions, fears, and attitude? (You might be surprised to find out how much these things ARE your problem!) Either way, invite Jesus into – not only your situation – but into YOU. And if you do, you are going to find out that a big Light is going to go on. It will be a Light that will expose things – and YOU – for what they are. But you will also see Jesus Christ. That spells freedom.
Jesus can bring back from the dead even that which seems like it has a
funeral procession around it. He
can take it, drive out the scoffers, and bring it back to life.
But we must take our hands off of it and invite Him in.
The result will be enlargement and freedom. And the will of God.
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