What Step Will You Take to Allow More God Space?Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Take a Step and Allow for God Space
3 Small Steps You Can Take
For a few weeks now I have been taking baby steps towards being clear in the focus here - purposefully engaging in the world around me in order to see the wondering questions that flow from every person's heart. The ideas that have grown into action came from a book, God Space, and years of gentle nudges from the Divine Creator & Writer of our stories. Please, if you have yet to read about it, check it out before reading further.
Now, let's spend today discussing how you might be keeping your life closed from more moments of God Space. But before we do, please know that these are going to sound like nothing steps, but if you take a moment to pray it over and really consider what steps you can take, you will probably feel a little uncomfortable. So don't just jump in. Pray, ponder, bounce your thoughts off your spouse, or a spiritual mentor - ask me if you want.
Often, once we become faithful, active Christians we dive head first into a church. And this is a good thing. The church is important to our faith walks. The community of believers gives us support, places to grow safely in our faith, and mentors who can disciple us as we ask questions and grow. The church provides opportunities to worship in groups and feel the Spirit in powerful ways. Many wonderful churches provide ample chances to serve each other and those in the community God has placed each of us in.
The thing is, we can quickly become so comfortable in our church that it can consume us. We see it as a safer option to find friends - for us and for our children. All our time can be spent in church activities or with those people we have become friends with. While this is a good thing, we cannot allow the church, and the people in the church to be the only part of the community we see.
We have to reach out.
Have you heard the story about the man who prays to win the lottery every single day? He prays day and night that God will bless him with the lottery winnings. He goes on about the righteous ways he could spend the money for God's kingdom work. Then he has a dream where God tells him He would love to bless the man in such a way, but he must first go buy a ticket.
3 Steps to Allow More God Space
- Take a look at your life - break it down into a week. How much time do you spend with other believers? These could be activities at your church or events. Maybe time you spend with friends who are believers even if you are doing activities outside of the church. Or maybe you spend all your time with your children's faith-based school? If, like me, you realize that the bulk of your time is segregated away from the not-yet-believers of your community, that needs to be addressed.
- Seek out one activity that really interests you and is not overtly religious: running, reading, dancing, hiking, painting... really the options are endless! Put this new activity into your regular routine - maybe weekly, or bi-weekly? This step will need some heavy prayer so that you can glean wisdom on what activity and the timing of the new event from God. Know that your goal is to allow your life to intersect more regularly and intentionally with not-yet-believers. Tell God what you are comfortable doing, allow Him to push you just past your comfort zone - this is why I suggest picking an activity that really interests you because then the uncomfort will come from meeting new people while the excitement of trying something you really enjoy can help you step forward.
- Make friends, even if they are only casual friends, with the people in this new group. Focus your efforts on building friendships and supporting these new people; show a sincere interest in them. Remind yourself that you are not trying to become the popular one in the group or gain in some way - you are simply trying to make connections with people that God is still reaching out to. You are aligning your path with theirs as God continues to weave His masterpiece. So while you are building these friendships, ask questions about their interests, listen to them and look for wondering questions that could point them to God, even in the slightest.
We know that God's timing is not our timing. So this process could take a long time for you. A bonus step then is to familiarize yourself with this new little section of the world. Imagine yourself the parent of a teenager, collecting information on the popular slang, and what-not. The thought is that there is no need to judge your new friend as she opens up to you simply because what she is interested in, or wondering about, shocks your socks off. You are not there to judge, rather meet these people where they are and love them as they find God.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. ~Matthew 5:13-16
The more you think on this, and I really hope this little article will stay on your mind, the more unsure and uncomfortable you might feel. I get that. The God Space book did that to me, and many of the other ladies who studied it with me. Take those thoughts of insecurity and fear of what-ifs, to God. Take the opportunity to remind yourself of who He is, what His desire is for the people of this world. Grow deeper roots in His unchanging promises. And if He nudges you down a path like I'm describing, know that when you are faithful to His relationship with you, holding on to Him with every step, He will clear temptation from your path no matter how dark the road may appear to our clouded vision.
Those who are not-yet-believers are not likely to walk through the door of the church asking questions... @Reading_List1