Make Room

From Make Room by Nicole Bullock

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May 17, 2017

Often when we hear a message, it can resonate or confirm a certain line of thinking we may have or, relate to where we are in our personal Bible study.

In this regard, there are several books that I am currently reading which, I feel, contribute directly or indirectly to the topic discussed and may help those to further understand, “Make Room”.

The first quote comes from Leslie Vernick in her book, “The Truth Principle – A Life Changing Model for Spiritual Growth and Renewal” where she says (pp 76-77),

“In order to understand ourselves better we must start by taking total responsibility for our feelings, our thoughts, and our actions. We may find it easier to blame these things on our troubles or make other excuses, but if we do, we will not mature. Again, our troubles merely reveal what is already in our hearts.
Luke 6:43-45 says, “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the the evil stored in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Too often we focus on changing our behaviours and give little thought to what is going on in our heart. Thomas Kempis said, “We must diligently search into and set in order both the outward and the inner man, because both of them are of importance to our progress in godliness.” God’s purpose in our lives is to glorify himself by restoring his image in us. He uses our troubles in life to help us grow up in him. The cost to us of always believing that our feelings and actions are caused by our troubles is to remain emotionally and spiritually immature.

A potter cannot shape hardened clay. The clay must first be soft and pliable. Only then can the potter mold it with his hands into what he wants it to be. Sometimes we are stiff-necked and unwilling to be worked into his image. For our own good, God sometimes needs to break us, through our troubles, in order to soften our heart and bring it to a place where we can be shaped according to his workmanship, ready to do good works we were created in him to do (Ephesians 2:10).”

So if our body is to be the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19), then the foregoing ‘renovations’ that Leslie describes are both preparatory and ongoing for “Making Room” and consequential spiritual growth and renewal. Needless to say, these aspects are more capably explained within the chapters of her excellent book.

The other book I am reading, Rankin Wilbourne’s “Union with Christ – The Way to Know and Enjoy God”, similarly resonates both with Leslie’s book and the message topic. It also brings into focus Greg’s requests at various times for us to use our imagination.

Rankin commences his book with an explanation of imagination (p 18),
“But before you set this book aside as something for “creative types” or someone not you, we need to talk about the word imagination. Because as much as we prize it, we often clip its wings. We hear “imagination” and think it’s about fiction and fairy tales, a child’s business, or things not real. Hence our phrase, “Oh, that’s just your imagination.”
But I’m using the word in a larger, more human sense. Imagination is that distinct human capacity by which we image anything and everything that is not immediately visible to our eyes. Where did you last put down your keys? What would you like to have for dinner tonight? What color are your mother’s eyes? (This requires imagination unless you’re looking at her.) Whether you’re aware of it or not, you use your imagination all the time.”

At this point you may ask, “What’s the connection here with Sunday’s message?” This revolves around the use of ‘dreams’ in the message…whether it is having a child or, whatever else has been implanted in our mind requires our imagination. Rankin continues (p18),

“…Most important, imagination is necessary to know and enjoy God. How else can we relate to the true God, “whom no one has ever seen (1 Tim 6:16), than by using our God-given imaging capacities—our imaginations? We must use our imaginations if we want to fully inhabit and experience the Christian life.” And further on Rankin mentions (p19),

“When the New Testament writers ask us, “Set your minds on things that are above” (Col 3:2), it’s not a command to crane our necks and look at the skies, but to look for a reality beyond what we can naturally see. When they tell us to “fix our eyes…on what is unseen” (2Cor4:18 NIV), it is our imagination that must respond.”

Rankin continues to expand on this theme in his book.

So, from my perspective, I have two books and a message that could be considered to be unrelated but, for me (through the guiding of the Spirit), provide different perspectives that open up paths to our relationship with God.

May 21, 2017

Thanks so much for your powerful message!
As someone who has struggled with infertility for years, Mothers Day messages tend to be a bit painful.
Thanks for sharing your amazing testimony and challenging us to revisit our dreams and trust God with the results…

May 25, 2017

Lovely message! Straight to my heart. Thank you.

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Video Information

God gives us dreams for our future. Yet, the circumstances and demands of life have a way of causing us to put those dreams away or forget them all together. How do we allow God to awaken us to the dreams he offers us? In this powerful message, Nicole Bullock (Co-Pastor of Blue Oaks Church in Brooklyn Center, MN) shares the story of a Shunammite woman who makes room for God in the face of paralyzing discouragement. Nicole also shares her own story of keeping faith in God through the uncertainty of seemingly-hopeless circumstances.