Enlarge your house; build and addition. Spread out your home, spare no expense! Isaiah 54:2 NLT
I’ve lived in various sized homes throughout my lifetime. Apartments, cabins, tiny third-world apartments, 1,000 square-foot home and everything in between. My dream home? Oh, I could live in a palace on 10,000 acres. Seriously. I would love to have so much home and so much land that all the family could be on that land and we’d have to saddle up just to see each other.
I guess because the first half of my married life we lived in small places, I dreamed and I dreamt big. Dreams are cheap, so I shop there often. And, it’s ok to dream, but it’s more important to walk in obedience and go where God calls. And God called us to each of the places we have lived. Each one has had it joys and sorrows. And growth. Not only in my heart, but also in our family.
Our son was born in Guatemala, and both daughters were born in southern California. It was after the second daughter was born that I realized a family of 5 in a 1000 square-foot home was a stretch. We already had two in each bedroom and we only had 2 bedrooms. My dad had been living with us for the entire pregnancy and he was on a couch in our converted attic. We were cramped – but managing. We didn’t have the room to enlarge the home, but we made up for it with lots of fun outside activities.
Take for instance our garden. At first we started with a side patch between our home and our neighbor’s. Then we expanded to include plots in the back and front. Then, we had our sights set on a small farm. And it’s where we have been for the past 22.5 years. And loving it.
Our current home size is the biggest we’ve ever lived in, but by no means a mansion or a palace – definitely a modest farmhouse. But the love inside these 4 walls is immeasurable.
God is calling us to enlarge our homes – build an addition. We can look at it as literal homes, or use the Truth that we are His home and we can enlarge our hearts. Enlarge where He wants us to go.
Are we flexible enough to consider something different or out of the ordinary? Do we have room enough to house a new opportunity in our hearts? What about actually building onto our physical homes to have more space for more ministry opportunities? Maybe not the inside, but what about the outside? Last year, we added a large cement pad in our back area for the express purpose for more seating area. The timing coincided with our son’s wedding and it was inaugurated the wedding week.
Go and make disciples of all nations. Matthew 28:19
God is giving us the mandate to enlarge our tents – to go. Spread out. Make room for more. Sharing the gospel with the nations. That can mean going to others countries, or bringing other countries to us – nowadays there are many cultures represented in and around us. Are we actively seeking opportunities to rub shoulders with others? Are we involved with people? Strangers?
Do we cross the aisle in church to make contact with someone new (that has been sitting there for months, if not years) to welcome him into our lives? I believe this is an expansion of our territory. Adding additional room in our hearts to include those God puts in our path.
Is it intimidating? Yes, of course. But, I have found that each and every single time I extend my hand or offer a smile, I am the one blessed. I walk away richer for having met someone who genuinely was excited to meet me.
The very first time we went to our current church some 16 years ago, we knew no one. Well, we thought we were alone. The day before I had gone to an apple farm not far from our house and I got to talking with the farmer’s wife. So kind and loving and we soon discovered that we both loved the Lord. What a treat. On that Sunday at FBC, who should make a bee line for me was my new-found friend Barbara welcoming us to church. That sealed the deal for us and we have been there ever since.
God has different means and methods for each of us. What may be my jam, may not be yours. The mandate is to expand our territory, to be willing to grow, tell others and live life with others in the sphere of influence He has you. The opposite of growth is stagnation, or worse – death. Have you ever seen a once-thriving plant in the garden just seemingly die overnight? It withers before your very eyes. Or the luscious tomato plant that is huge, every potential for gorgeous fruit, but has not one flower? It is worthless. What’s the point of a tomato plant if the gardener doesn’t get to harvest tomatoes?
God is telling a story in our lives that will touch others. We don’t know whom that will be, only God does. Are you willing to expand your territory to welcome a new friend? He or she probably needs to hear your story and how God is working in your life. I’m in. How about you?
Lord God, I give You praise because You are our Righteousness. You give me so much – love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, opportunities, territory, homes. May I be faithful to follow Your prompting. May I spare no expense to open my home as well as the door to my heart. Continue to do a work in me Lord so I can be Your willing vessel. In Jesus’s Name, AMEN.