As much as we want God to move in us and among us, it is highly unlikely when there is standing-room-only in a space full of our stiff conclusions. The seemingly elusive and unknown will or working of God in our lives individually or collectively will remain such. We will long for it, but that will be as close as we get.
They had to make room. Room for us. Religiously we were on the outside. We were “the nots.” Not Jewish. Not chosen. Not citizens of God’s nation. And then, we were. Previously unknown to them, God had been working toward our inclusion all along. The Messiah, as it turned out, did not come just to “make Israel great again.” His purpose was much greater then one nation. Suddenly, “the ones” were told to make room for “the nots” and we all became “the shared.” (Galatian 3:6)
Imagine one of us suddenly claiming to have some special insight that was counter to centuries of belief and tradition – counter to what we believed to be the written teachings of God. So it was with the Israelites, The Law and now Paul’s claim. How did “the ones” make room within the foundations of their faith for an executed Messiah that failed to return Israel to its previous glory? He was the inverse of what their faith had led them to believe. How did they make room for “the nots” to become “the shared”?
Even before Paul, Peter made room. He discovered that the unknown not only had come to him, but it had come to one of “the nots.” His reply, “So if God gave “the nots” the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?” (Acts 11:17)
Is there any room or any space within us as individuals or collectively for the unknown? Too often our current conclusions are tightly bound and protected by the shrink wrap of fear and self-preservation and then packed in a waterproof box of self- absorption. This leaves us not only afraid to make room for the unknown, but even unaware that we should. Space lined with fear must know and must know now. Space lined with self-preservation must protect what is known for fear of what may happen. Space lined with self-absorption only wants validation of its current state. We say that we want God to move in us and among us. We want to know His will and we want Him to do great things. But, we fail to create space.
Space is created by humility. (Galatians 3:8) Space is created by reconciliation. (v. 12) Space is created by selflessness. (v.13) In this space there is room to consider, room to change and room to move forward and see.
Our fear is that if we create too much space, we will take advantage of the lack of limitation and the absence of boundary. But, a truly vast space so often does the opposite. It reminds us of our smallness and puts us in our place. When we are confined, we want to get out and often move too quickly and reactionary. When there is space and time, we are able to consider and learn.
In this space lined with humility, reconciliation and selflessness, there is room for the unknown. There is room for God