THEME FOR 2021-22: “MAKE ROOM 4 GOD”
Every year we come up with an overarching theme for all our churches and ministries in local congregations to run with and build God‘s people to reach people and turn them into fully devoted followers of Christ.
Theme Scripture: Isaiah 54:2
Enlarge the place of your tent and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. ESV
This year, God would like us to MAKE ROOM for Him in every area of our lives. Brethren we have our orders from the Lord and the challenge is; are we willing to make the changes that are needed and necessary for us to obey Him! Making room for God does not ‘just happen’ but comes as a result of active preparation.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO MAKE ROOM FOR GOD?
1. WE MAKE ROOM FOR MISSION
Enlarge the place of your tent,
The tent is a simple and primitive form of shelter. The tent dwellers of the Middle East would find a stick, or a pole, a little bit of canvas and some rope and built a tent as a place to sleep at night or a shelter from the rain. Practically it became their home. But what happens when a family outgrows their tent? They had to find a little more rope, some more canvas and more stronger and longer sticks so as to increase the capacity of their tent.
i) The word enlarge means to: “grow large, to extend, to make more room, to increase capacity, to expand, occupy new territories, to think big.”
ii) Place or Territory means an area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler, it means region, country, state, colony, domain, realm, possession, or sphere of operation. In this text, God is calling upon His people to act in faith and enlarge their space (not just the tents), because His blessing was upon them. I’m really taken by this idea of clearing ground to make space to enlarge your tent. If you’re going to build or expand something one of the very first things you have to do is to clear the ground before you put foundations down.
We are called to clear lots of ground for our tents, Enlarge our space, Make our tents large. Spread out! Think big!! This reminds us again of the vastness of our God. It does us a lot of good to be confronted, again and again with the majesty of God. God wants us to make room for Him by engaging in mission—reach out to people in our sphere of influence, bring the kingdom of God. The measure of your life is not what you consume but what you allow God to birth through you—How much room are you making for God in your life?
2. WE MAKE ROOM FOR RELATIONSHIPS
…and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back
When God begins to stretch you he takes you out of your comfort zone. You may have developed relationships that make you comfortable and feel safe. Sometimes there is a sense that this is all— “I don’t want to come out of my bubble, its too risky to know more people than I already know…” It’s not your ability that God after, but it’s your expandability that all make room for God in your life. God needs expandable people. Like rubber bands, we are not effective unless we are stretched. He uses elastic vessels that are able to change and grow with what God is doing.
When talking about stretching, we can explain it by comparing a water bottle to a balloon. Even though the water bottle is bigger than a balloon, it is the balloon that has more capacity. The water bottle is restricted in its size. It cannot stretch. It is not elastic.This isn’t about your size, it’s about your ability to stretch with what God wants to do. Making room for God comes with the ability to stretch and expand your relationships for the purpose of advancing the kingdom of God.
Jesus said you can’t put new wine into old wineskins. They used to keep wine in animal skins. Old wineskins dry up and lose their elasticity, meaning they can no longer stretch.
If you put new wine in them, they burst. Making room for God means we have to expand our capacity to develop new relationships for God.Spare not – don’t limit God by fear or doubt. When you enlarge your capacity for God by stretching your relational capital, God will expand your influence.
3. WE MAKE ROOM FOR SERVICE
…lengthen your cords
Whenever we serve, we extend our sphere of influence by touching more lives with what we have done. Service impacts on people in a special way because they make contact with you or your service. Isaiah says when you are enlarging, your rope has to be lengthened because you are going further, expanding and reaching beyond your normal reach in service.
There is no place to just be sitting in church. For the church to prosper, we need people to bring what people have given them. Some of you have switched off and it’s time to re-engage. Serve within our church and community so others can make their life connection with the living God. We need you! The community needs you! Here is a powerful principle in life: we live to give.
If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium you put it in. Sharks can be six inches long yet fully matured. But if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of eight feet.
That is like what happens to some Christians. I have seen some of the cutest little six-inch Christians who swim around in a little puddle. You can look at them and comment on how fine they are. But if you were to put them out into a larger arena—into the broad view out there—they might become great. This is your time to make room for God.
4. WE MAKE ROOM FOR MATURITY
strengthen your stakes…..Drive the tent pegs deep (The Message Bible)
We are told to strengthen our stakes. This means we need to grow deeper in our spiritual walk with God. Maturity means growing in prayer, growing God’s word, and growing in faith and obedience. We don’t want to be people who settle and stagnate, who become passive. God is eternal, there is so much more of Him to discover! The more we know Him, the closer we come to Him, the more we give ourselves to Him the further that stake gets driven into the ground. This requires us to take steps, to be intentional, to be people who pursue Him. Let me ask a question of us, how are we helping one another to go deeper with God?
Never be satisfied with where you are in the area of spiritual growth—there’s more room!
Cultivate an insatiability for more of God by examining your weaknesses, beholding the perfection of Christ, and finding good examples of strengths you want to develop. If making room for God in your life does not result in reaching wider and higher, then you haven’t grown deeper at all!
GET READY TO
1. Make Room for Mission - ‘enlarge’
2. Make Room for Relationships - ‘stretch out’
3. Make Room for Serving - ‘lengthen’
4. Make Room For Maturity – ‘ Strengthen’