"No Room" (December 2010)
“And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:4-7) The verse said that there was “no room” for them at the inn. We know that this verse was referring to the fact that there was no room for Jesus physically at the inn. What I want to talk about this month is us “making room for Jesus”. What do I mean by that? While we can’t make a “physical” place for Him- He is a Spirit, “God is a Spirit.” (John 4:24a)- we can make “room” for Him. The Bible says that our bodies are a temple- a dwelling place.; a dwelling place for His Spirit. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16)
This account of the birth of Jesus is always read at Christmas time, we call it the “Christmas Story”. But when the actual event took place it was not at “Christmas time”. The Christ child had not been born, no day had been set aside as a memorial to His birth. There was no Christmas celebration as of yet. For the people that were in Bethlehem it was a day just like any other day. They were going about their business this day as they did day in and day out. There were no out of town family and friends coming in for a visit; no exchanging of gifts; no feasts and special meals planned. My point? They had “no room” for Jesus in their everyday lives- their day to day affairs.
I am going to ask a very straightforward question, “Are you making room for Jesus in your life?”. The definition for the word room is: a place which a person or thing occupies. Does Jesus have occupancy in your life? Let’s look at the word occupancy. It means: the act, state, or condition of being or becoming a tenant or of living in or taking up quarters or space in or on something; the act of taking possession, as of a property; one who is in actual possession; resident. When I asked if you are making room for Jesus, I mean are you allowing Him to take up occupancy in your life? Are you allowing Him to actually take possession of your life? Does He live inside of you? Does He have a place to dwell within you?
As we look at the words room and occupancy again, we learn that it is talking about a dwelling place- not a vacation home, not a place in which to come and visit on occasion, not a stop along the way while “passing through”, but a place to set up residency. God desires to live and dwell within you, not just come to you occasionally. “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)
“Are you making room for Him?” Is the room you have made for Him only once or twice a year on holidays that commemorate His birth and death-- Christmas and Easter? If that is the only time you acknowledge Him, then you have made “NO ROOM” for Him.
Are you making room for Him only on Sundays when it is time to go to church? What about the rest of the week- Monday through Sunday? If you forget about and neglect Him the rest of the week, then you too have made “NO ROOM” for Him.
Once a week I go to the local drug and alcohol recovery center and conduct a church service. I have noticed that many of the clients that come through the program talk a lot about God, Jesus and religion while they are there, but after they get out He is forgotten. I know this because some of them wind up going back through the program again and others I hear about what has happened to them since they left. (Let me just say that this is not the case for everyone. I praise God for the change that He does and has made in many peoples’ lives who have come through out there. Some I am in contact with and rejoice to see what the Lord is doing in their lives and how they have surrendered to His Lordship totally.) The point I want to make in saying this is, some people make room for Jesus when they are in trouble and need His help- like some of those in the recovery center, rehab, jail or prison. That’s where the term “jail house religion” came from. But if He is forgotten once they leave the program or jail, then there was “NO ROOM” made for Him.
People with life controlling addictions aren’t the only ones in this category. We all face troubles, trials, difficulties and problems from time to time. If when we are in trouble is the only time we acknowledge Jesus and we forget Him once the “crisis” is past, then we have done the same thing, we have made “NO ROOM” for Him. “Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.” (Psalm 78:41,42) This whole Psalm talks about how the people called upon the Lord when they were in trouble but turned away from Him when He delivered them and answered their prayers. They made “NO ROOM” for Him.
There are some people who make room for Him only in certain areas of their lives. They have “rooms” that they keep shut to Him and do not allow Him access into. How can we love Him with all our heart if we don’t give Him all our heart? How can we give Him some, or parts of our lives, and reserve some parts for ourselves and say He has room? “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” (Mark 12:30) To give Him room means without reservation. When someone lives in your house, they have freedom to go anywhere in the whole house. My husband is not restricted from entering certain rooms, neither am I. So, why would we restrict Jesus from having free course in our lives by keeping some areas closed to Him after we have invited Him into our lives?
Why aren’t we willing to make room for Him in our lives? We say we are Christians. We say we want Him in our lives. But when it comes right down to it, we aren’t making the room for Him that He desires and deserves. I want to look at two reasons why I believe we aren’t making room for Him as we should. The first comes from our opening scripture. “There was no room for them in the inn.” The inn was a place where you had a roof over your head, protection from the elements, food, a bed to sleep in-- it was a comfortable place. Often we don’t make room for Jesus because we don’t want to get out of our “comfort zones”. We like being at ease. We like having things our way. We like being in control and making the decisions that affect us. When Jesus has full residency, our “comfort” is often interrupted. Things don’t stay the same when He is “in the house”. “I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.” (Job 16:12) “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30)
The second reason, I believe, is because we allow the “cares of this life” to take up residency in our lives and in turn “push Him out”. There is not enough room for Him and the cares of this life. We know they choke out the word in our lives. “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) Consider the story of Martha and Mary. Jesus visited in their home one day and Martha was so busy with the “cares of this life”- cooking the meal, setting the table, making sure everything was in order, making preparations- she did not make room for Jesus. She was so preoccupied with what she was doing that she neglected the One she was doing it for. On the other hand, Mary made room for Jesus by sitting in His presence and listening to every word He said. “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42) It is so easy to get busy with, and distracted by, daily tasks and responsibilities. We can get so busy that we neglect giving God any room in our lives for communion and fellowship, worship and intimacy. If we are not careful the cares of this life will take the place in our lives that should belong to the Lord.
Let’s look a moment at some of the consequences of not making room for Jesus. When we don’t make room for Him, we miss out on blessings and miracles. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” The greatest miracle of the ages, the fulfillment of the prophecies and promises concerning the coming Messiah took place and those in the inn missed it. Had there been room in the inn for this glorious birth to take place, the shepherds would not have been alone in worshipping this new born King. “And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:15,16)
Some more blessings that we miss when there is no room for Him in our lives? The assurance that our prayers are answered. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” (John 15:7) We miss out on the pleasures of the Kingdom- peace, joy, comfort, strength, God’s presence and so on. “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:31,32)
Not making room for Him in our plans and decisions can end in disaster. “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper.” (2 Chronicles 26:5) “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7) Remember when the men of Israel went to do battle with the city of Ai? It was such a small city and they had just conquered the huge city of Jericho, they didn’t feel the need to acknowledge God or make room for His counsel or instructions. As a result they were defeated and went running back to camp. “And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai,” (Joshua 7:2-4) This is why we are admonished in the scriptures to “make room for Him” by seeking His will and allowing Him to direct our plans. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:6) “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23) I believe this is one of the reasons why David was a man after God’s own heart. He made room for Him. He sought Him in all his ways. He was constantly making room for God to direct him, to fight his battles for him, and to speak to him. He made room for God’s will in his life. “And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22)
Let’s talk for a moment about the blessings and rewards that await those who do make room for Him in their lives. When He has room in our lives, we have the God of the universe dwelling with us. We have the Creator making His abode in us. We have His presence near to lead and guide us. We don’t have to make decisions on our own. He will direct us and lead us in the way we should go. We have an intimate communion and relationship with Him. But the greatest blessing comes in eternity. Those who will make room for Him here and now, He will make room for them later in eternity. “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2,3) In the New International Version it reads, “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?” Did you hear that? There are “rooms” in His Father’s house and He is preparing them for us- better yet, He is preparing us each a room of our own. It is His desire that you live with Him throughout all eternity in one of those rooms in His Father’s house. And it is possible to live in one. It will happen if we make room for Him in our lives while we are here on earth, then He will make room for us in His house and we will get to dwell with Him for all eternity.
As we have said, there are blessings for making room for Him and consequences for not. The bottom line is this: If you only make room for Jesus during certain times of the year or only when you are in certain situations, then you have not made "room" for Him. If you aren't making room for Him 24/7, 365 days a year, then He has "no room" in your life. He desires to abide in your life all the time. He wants to have a place of permanent dwelling in you. Does He have that? If not, today is a good time to start preparing a place for Him to abide in you.
I wanted to take a moment and write a personal note thanking you all for your love and support of the work that the Lord is doing through About the Master’s Business ministry. I want to give God praise and glory for allowing me the honor of serving Him throughout this past year. I look forward with great expectation to seeing what the Lord has in store for this next year... should He tarry His coming. If He returns this year, it is my prayer that you will be ready for His appearing by having made His Son Jesus the Savior and Lord of your life. I long with all my heart to hear Him say those words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy and rest of your Lord.” I pray that the Lord will bless you all with a very prosperous and healthy New Year, and that this year you will have a desire to become more intimately aquatinted with Him than every before. He loves you and has great things in store for your life. He has good plans for you. Plans to give you a hope and a future. May you find and fulfill His plan, purpose and destiny for your life. Love and blessings in Christ, Lorraine Ezell