“He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’” (Luke 12:17 NLT)
As Americans, we tend to live very crowded lives. Down time is rare, but when it happens, it’s often difficult to decide what to cram into the void. It’s as though we’re geared to be active every waking moment, but that was never God’s design for us.
Bob Goff wrote: “Later in his life, I bet the Innkeeper wished he’d made more room than he thought he had for Jesus. Me too.”
You’ve likely heard the expression used by many retirees: “I don’t know how I ever found time to work!” That’s the way I felt when I was first retired, but in recent months the Lord has taught me how to slow down and focus on what’s important.
In Luke 12 Jesus tells a story about a rich man who owned a farm that was very productive, but rather than seeing that as an opportunity to share his good fortune with others, his decision was to build larger barns so he could hoard it all himself. But God said to him: “You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?” (Luke 12:20 NLT)
Jesus concluded the story by saying: “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” (Luke 12:21 NLT) What can we learn from Jesus’ story?
Jesus is not saying that to have earthly wealth is wrong. People on Welfare in America are richer than 99% of the world’s population. There was a time in my life when I wanted to be rich. I wrongly believed if I had more than enough money it would give me status and recognition. I had to become penniless before I realized how “rich” I already was.
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” By God’s grace I have finally learned the truth of that verse. What I’ve discovered is, He gives more than I need, or so I thought. The excess is what He gives me to give away to those to whom He directs.
The more time I spend with the Lord, as I speak with Him while walking my dogs; as I spend time reading and studying His Word, the Bible; as I make corporate worship and serving at my local church a priority; as I make sharing His love and life with others a habit; and as I learn to rest when I’m weary, He has taught me how to listen more attentively to His Spirit who resides in me.
Making room for Jesus requires discipline in every area of our lives: our personal life, our family life, our relationships in and outside the family of God, how we use money, invest our time, love, and serve others. The more we allow our lives to be filled with Jesus, the less we must fret because of worry, fear, and uncertainties of the future.
Having a rich relationship with God is not just a destination, something that we hope happens when we die, it’s designed to be a present reality that guides us in every dimension of our life. Making room for Jesus enables us to have balance that brings fulfillment, peace, joy, satisfaction, and time to build relationships with neighbors and others the Lord puts in our path from day to day.
Personally, I’m not interested in building “bigger barns” for the resources the Lord is making available to me. I’m more interested in discovering ways to honor and bless the Lord as I make more room for Him.
Blessings, Ed 😊