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The Large Place
By David A. DePra
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. (Ps. 4:1)
"Enlargement," or, "being brought into a large place," are metaphors for spiritual freedom in the Bible. The picture is one where I have, "more room to move around," in my relationship with God. I am not constrained or limited. I can move with Him in Truth.
The verse above says that it is in DISTRESS that we become enlarged. The distress isnít what does it Ė for anyone can be distressed, even atheists. No. It is what we choose IN the distress. We become enlarged when we become small; when we decrease. Then Christ can increase in us.
Another way to look at this is to picture yourself as an earthen vessel in which there is a treasure. (see II Cor. 4) Well, it isnít that the earthen vessel can be made bigger. No. But the capacity it already has can be utilized. Thus, the more you are emptied of yourself, the more room there is for Christ.
So often we misunderstand this process. We think that to be, "emptied of self," requires a state of perpetual misery. No. Neither does it mean that we cannot enjoy life. To be emptied of self simply means that I am no longer living for myself. I am not in charge. I do not belong to myself. By necessity, this will cause suffering. And struggles. But the more I am emptied of myself, the LARGER the place there is in me for the increase of Christ.
I like the metaphor of a LARGE PLACE. Imagine if you were living in a small room, barely adequate. But it is all you have ever known. You are comfortable in it. Now imagine that you must move to a large place. To you, the large place would be a negative, because you are at home in the small place. But in the large place there will be advantages you know nothing about. Now ask: What would be the easiest was to get you to move? Well, make the small place less comfortable.
Can we see that this is often what God must do? He often must come in and totally disrupt our lives so that we will no longer be comfortable in our small, limited relationship with Him. This gets our attention. In fact, there are times when God, in His wisdom, simply takes the initiative to EVICT us from our small place, and then makes it impossible for us to go back. Despite the trauma, it is all unto the end that we might come into a large place.
Distress in our small place will provide the motivation to turn to God. At first, the distress may do little more than make us think God is against us Ė for He is disturbing our lives. But if we hang in, and continue to seek God, we will find that He will bring us into a large place.
Havenít you found that God will take the circumstances of your life and make it impossible for you to live in them Ė so that you must turn to Him and find a solution? You will often be put in the position of needing a revelation of Jesus Christ to get through, or of needing to find God for your provision. God will use circumstances to do that. But itís not the circumstances that He is really concerned with. It is using them to get us out of our limitations and into a larger relationship with Him.
The bigger the trouble, the bigger is the solution that is needed. The greater the distress, the greater the revelation of Jesus Christ that God is planning to give.
If you feel as if your trouble is bigger than the small place you occupy can handle, then you can be sure that God is using the trouble to get you moving and seeking. He wants you to turn to Him for not only the solution to the trouble, but to turn to Him for Himself. Once we find Christ, we discover that He is bigger than our trouble. And then we discover that HE is our place.
In the end, Christ is the large place. And God wants HIM to be bigger to us. He wants us to be able to, "move around, " in freedom, rather than be restricted through fear, ignorance, and deception. Christ is our dwelling place, and we are His. The Christian life, and the purpose of God, is unto the end that we might be enlarged in Christ.
I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, and set me in a large place. (Psa 118:5)
LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. (Psa 90:1)
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