A friend recently shared that her “word” or “idea” for the New Year was similar to mine, but she phrased it as “making space.”
I love the idea of space, and have been thinking about it a lot because of this whole simplicity thing, and the whole I-moved-and-have-to-arrange-a-new-room thing. I’ve been thinking about how we (maybe it’s just me?) really don’t like to leave things empty. Maybe we have an innate human compulsion to fill things that are empty. We fill our rooms, offices, plates, drawers, etc. I mean, apparently men aren’t like this, but women rarely, if ever, have an empty mind. We are always thinking about something (most of the time MANY things).
I made a goal in my new room not to clutter my desk. “I want to have ONLY my computer on it,” I said to my friends. To type this post at my desk I had to clear a bag of popcorn, two journals, some mail, candles, tape, and a light bulb. I’ve lived here for three days, people. Yeah. It is hard not to fill empty space.
What we fill our lives – our space – with determines how we live our lives. What we talked about last week rings true – if we let the lies and insecurities fill our minds, there is no room for truth.
God gives us this invitation: If you give Me space, I will fill it.
If we let Him into our hearts – not in that five-year-old “come live in my heart” kind of way – like the real come and transform me from the deepest depths of my heart kind of way, He will come. He will dig deep and change everything. He desires to change your heart, returning it piece by piece to what He originally intended. This is why I believe deep in my soul that people can change – but only if we really, really let Him change us. Here’s the thing though, when He moves in, He does a complete overhaul. It isn’t just cosmetic change. He straight up transforms us.
If we let Him into our day, into our time, we will have more of it, and it will be fuller than ever before. God whispered to me recently, If you invest, I will make you rich. This is SO not about buying Powerball tickets. There was nothing monetary about it at all. I sometimes can become very frugal with my time, selfish really, and not want to share it with anyone else or even with Him. His time doesn’t work that way. The Kingdom time zone is expansive and unlimited. If we invest our time in Him and His people, it will come back in multitudes. It will be so worthwhile. Has there ever been a time when you have given Him your time and you have regretted it? I don’t think I can say there has.
I long so much for balance, but I am realizing it doesn’t exist. I remember the first time someone opened my eyes to that idea; it was at a retreat class for my grad program. Jan Johnson, a saucy soulful lady was teaching us that week and she said something along the lines of: balance isn’t really attainable, but rhythm is. God invites us into a rhythm of grace, a life of fullness beyond anything we could create by filling our schedules.
So what I am learning is that my definition or idea of simplicity is so small compared to His (typical). It isn’t about creating emptiness, it is about giving Him space to be and work in my life. It is all about going back to that verse: Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. I want Him to be my treasure; I want Him to have my heart. I want Him to fill all the space – and the more I give Him, the better everything in my life will be. I want to invest in the way He asks me to – in His Kingdom and His people. (And I am still slowly learning, His people are not the Bravermans on my laptop.) The irony of it all is that the more you give away, the more you will receive. Giving always leads to receiving of some kind. There is always a spiritual return on your investment. That shouldn’t be our motivator, but it is His gift to us.
This week I am focusing on words like dwell and abide and attentive. What does it look like to abide in God’s presence in your life right now? What would it mean to let God really dwell in your heart and schedule? How would things change if we were paying attention to God’s work in our lives and world? One of my best friends chose “expectant” as her word for the year. WHAT A WORD. What an attitude. It’s going to change us all, I know it.
This is the challenge this week – walk slower, discern more. Talk less, listen more. Hoard less, give more. See? It isn’t about emptiness. It never was. God filled empty space to create the world we live in. Sin cluttered it with the bad, but God fills it with good.
Create space, let God do more. Let Him be more. He will fill space that we give Him; He will transform hearts that we offer Him. Abide in Him, dwell on His Word, be attentive to His Spirit. Tell me how it changes you.
Abide in Him,