The Way to Wide, Open Space

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
My love, you know how I love to tell you, “breathe deep”? You know how I love to quiet you, remind you I am here?

What does it look like? What does it look like to have peace in your heart?

Picture open space and beauty and the sounds of life. There may be a breeze blowing. You may feel it on your skin. Or you see the space within you.

It is open space within you where I enter in.

Open space is opportunity. It is freedom. It is love. It is untamed obedience and desire and glory–Me in you spread out wide and deep and long.

I want more open space for you, my girl. I want more richness and abandonment of rules for the sake of following Me.

I know the way to open space.

You may feel trapped right now, the world closed in and the list of obligations so long. But I come to you there, my hand extended.

See Me looking at you.

In this place where there seems no place to turn, I invite you into open space. Wide open for you and Me to walk in wild, love-filled abandon together.

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How the Heck Do We Know?
. . . show me a sign that it is you who speak with me—Judges 6:17
“That was God . . .”

“I felt God nudging me . . .”

“I got the sense that God wants me to . . .”

We hear words like these. Sometimes we say them ourselves. But, how do we know it’s God? Well, rarely can we ever know conclusively; there’s mystery with God. There are times when we intuitively just know, down deep somewhere. And, often, this “just knowing” is enough. Other times, though, things are less clear and we must ask: Was that you, God? Or was that just me? In those situations, we need to be able to recognize his voice—to identify it.

Fortunately, his voice is unique—whether it comes through his still, small voice or through the words of others. It’s something we can come to recognize. So, what we need to learn is to identify the unique characteristics. We do that by reading Scripture. Fortunately, not all methods of hearing God are equal. Scripture, the method by which we hear his voice indirectly through the Biblical authors, sits above all others in importance and authority. As such, we have something against which we can run tests.

On a practical level, therefore, when we try to hear God by any other method, we simply need ask ourselves whether what we think we’ve heard fits within the principles set forth in Scripture. Indeed, that’s exactly what we are listening for when we listen for his voice—thoughts and words that fit within the principles of the Bible—not thoughts, nor words, by contrast, that contradict or add to Scripture.
Okay, so what do we do?

Are you spending enough time reading Scripture, brother? Do you have a reading plan? If not, get one going, today. Do it with friends. For if you come to know him in Scripture, you’ll begin to identify God’s voice in other places too.

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The Definition of Success

“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:1.
Daughter, listen. Trust your heart.

What if you believed you were enough? What if you believed you were loved? Would you dance? Would you be free?

My daughter, I am here.

I am here.

Lift up your head. Lift up your eyes.

Do you care more about what others think than about following Me? Do not try to please the world, my love. It does not bring you joy. Being present, with Me, brings you joy.

Do not judge success. What is success? Who is qualified to measure it?

Is it full of my love? Does it represent Me? Does it bring a lightness of heart, a stirring towards truth? Does it call forth hope? Does it elicit freedom from the ties to this world?

Does it celebrate beauty? Does it make people free? Does it reflect my Son and His sacrifice? Does it foster obedience and a desire—bigger than one’s self, for good?

Does it lay down striving? Does it suggest I am enough and all efforts to achieve joy and success on one’s own is fruitless? Does it bring forth my fruit—patience, kindness, gentleness, love, mercy, thankfulness, tenderness, compassion, hope? Does it prompt the laying down of selfishness? Does it unite my children and bring forth peace and unity? Does it represent Me?

What is success?

Oh, daughter, lay it down.

I am yours.

I am the only success.

I am the only way.

I am the only life.

I am the only life-giving work for you.

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Heard God Through Others?
The Spirit of the Lord speaks by me;
his word is on my tongue—2 Samuel 23:2
God speaks through his people. He empowers us as agents to carry his messages—as Ananias did to Saul, as Cornelius did to Peter (and Peter did back to Cornelius). This method, human agency, is the second of God’s two preferred methods of communicating with us. Examples of it abound in Scripture. And, of course, Scripture itself is an example: the Biblical authors were his agents in communicating his precious words to us.

How does it work? Well, while God uses his still, small voice to reach us directly, speaking into our minds, originating thoughts there instantly, he uses that very same voice to also reach us indirectly—that is, by speaking directly into the minds of others, directing a few of their thoughts, and then allowing them to use their spoken or written words to take his messages the rest of the way, to us. It may be that one of us, one in need of hearing from God, isn’t used to hearing from him, or doesn’t recognize his voice or just isn’t listening . . . or maybe doesn’t want to listen. Whatever the reason, it’s clear that God uses people who are listening and do want to hear to reach others who need to hear. It could be the inspired words of a pastor in the pulpit or the encouraging words of a friend at a coffee shop or the challenging words of brothers in a men’s group . . . or any one of many, many other possibilities.
Okay, so what do we do?

Do you want to hear God’s voice? Does your busy calendar allow for it? Have you committed yourself to a group of men who are willing to speak his truth into your life? Think about these questions, brother—and commit today to figuring out how to begin to answer them affirmatively.
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