Wide Open Spaces

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Romans 5:1-2 (MSG)

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

 

Today is finally the day. After much deliberation and a painful separation, I am stepping out in faith to embark on a new career. I am excited. I am nervous. I am hopeful. While the transition has been uncomfortable, I realize that change usually is marked by such feelings and emotions. Change requires us to release control and reassemble our lives to make way for the new thing that is coming. My life has been marked by many changes as of late and I am beginning to realize that I have held a tight grip on it. The rollercoaster is over. I can relax but that is easier said than done. This morning I realized that my makeup has been packed up in a travel bag for years now. I put it there when our son’s health hung constantly in balance so I could pack quickly if there was an emergency. I looked at it this morning and could hear a still, small voice say, “You can unpack it now.” Does the Lord speak to us like that? Absolutely.

By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us…today I am taking hold of this new thing and running with it. Faith is the platform that I stand on in all things. It is the foundation of everything that I hope for. God has big plans for my life. While it seems to be a blank page before me, every single day has already been recorded by Him. It is this thought and idea that keeps me moving in life. If not for faith, I would never take another chance in life. There would be no leap of faith to the next thing that I hope for but rather constant complacency that keeps me safe and in control. As I step out today in faith, it is with the belief that I will find myself standing where I always hoped to be in the middle of wide open spaces of God’s Grace and Glory. I want to end this day standing and shouting in praise.

Psalm 139:16-17 (MSG)

Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day. Your thoughts—how rare, how beautiful! God, I’ll never comprehend them! I couldn’t even begin to count them—any more than I could count the sand of the sea.

 

I am not given to a risky or rebellious lifestyle as the world sees it. I have never been arrested nor do I ever want to be so I avoid all behavior that might be a problem. I am the person who does not have any interest in finding out what “or else” means. All the stages of my life were documented by God before I was ever born. I still struggle to imagine a God who could love me knowing everything that I have done and will ever do wrong. He knows my weaknesses, faults and failures but He still loves me and wants only the best for my life. I will never fully comprehend the unfailing love of God in this lifetime. When God closes one door to open another it is usually with me keeping my foot in the gap. This time – the Lord slammed the door shut. He has a plan. It is a good one.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (MSG)

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.”  

God’s Decree.

 

God is reminding me today that everything is going according to His Plan. The God of the Universe is assuring me (the least of these) that He knows exactly what He is doing. He is taking care of me. He is not abandoning me but giving me new hope. I have called on Him and He came. I prayed and He listened. I have been looking for Him and He has been found. Now I just have to trust Him while He works all the details out in my life. God is leading me to freedom with each step. A freedom that I have never known before. A wide open space where I can serve Him and praise Him openly.

John 10:6-10 (MSG)

Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good—sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”

 

The Lord is a Good Shepherd. He is always good. He leads us with unfailing, unconditional, exceptional and overwhelming love that is always working out the details of our life to perfection even when we are uncertain if that is what we really want. Our doubt, anxiety and insecurity does not deter the Lord. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. The Lord does not pen up his people in tight spaces but longs for us to walk in freedom in all aspects of our life. He came to give us real life, a better life and more than we ever dreamed of. I will never be faithful to Jesus until I accept the fact that He is always faithful and good to me.

I Chronicles 4:9-10 (NLT)

There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request.

 

I am so encouraged by Jabez. He didn’t let his past define his future. He asked the Lord, “Oh that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do and keep me from trouble and pain.” Jabez asked for change and God gave it to him despite who he thought he was and who others said that he was. What about you? Are you going to listen to the opinions of others or are you going to step out on faith in who God says that you are today? God is just waiting for you to want all that He promised enough to step out into change to have it. You don’t make the changes necessary. Faith in God does that good work in us.

Psalm 119:41-45 (MSG)

Let your love, God, shape my life with salvation, exactly as you promised; then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery because I trusted your Word. Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—your commandments are what I depend on. Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me, guard it now, guard it ever; and I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom…

The choice to let God’s Love shape and rebuild our life is the acceptance of change by faith. God’s Word gives us insight. His Voice gives us direction. Nothing is random in this place but all to satisfy our heart’s desire. I must guard my life from things like compromise and complacency that lock me in the comfort zones of life afraid of change. Today God has opened another door to greater freedom than I have ever known. I don’t know exactly what it looks like or how it all works. All I know for sure is that it’s God’s Plan for my life so I know that it is good. It will be far more than I ever thought to ask for. So Lord today I praise you from this wide open place called freedom. I thank you for the new opportunity that forces me to change. May it be for your Glory God in all things in all ways!

Psalm 118:5-9 (MSG)

Pushed to the wall, I called to God

; from the wide open spaces, he answered. God’s now at my side and I’m not afraid; who would dare lay a hand on me? God’s my strong champion; I flick off my enemies like flies. Far better to take refuge in God than trust in people; far better to take refuge in God than trust in celebrities.

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