One of my Christmas traditions happens after the holiday hustle and bustle has calmed down. I anticipate the peace and quiet after the constant stream of seasonal visitors have gone home, and I’ve run out of creative ways to serve ham and turkey leftovers.
I look forward to organizing, cleaning and storing away the Christmas decorations. I am refreshed, renewed and recharged because I know a New Year is immanent. I also appreciate the feeling of accomplishment and the closure reorganizing brings.
It’s funny isn’t it? There’s an uncanny sense of regeneration when you rearrange and pack things up. It feels like your office or home has more room. The same thing is true in our spiritual lives. Open spaces in our lives make room for more of what God has in store for our future. When we allow God to reposition and change things up, we make room in our lives for more of God.
The spiritual discipline of making room for God works when we allow God to show us things we need to get rid of: a bad habit, criticism, fault-finding, bitterness, anger, hate, unforgiveness. When we allow margin in our time and schedule, time for God to meet us, we choose to slow down to listen to His voice. We allow Him to speak into our lives and show us areas He might want us to realign.
Dallas Willard says, “Amazing things can happen when we open up spaces in our lives. It is easier to hear the voice of God when we practice silence because our world is not filled with competing noises.”
Scriptures echo this truth. “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:1)
The Latin term, “Capax Dei” – an increased capacity for God – is something we can develop by allowing space in our lives. As leaders, it’s a choice to “open up spaces in our lives” by asking God what we can cut out to make room. So let’s make the choice to increase our capacity for God. Silence and solitude are ignored spiritual disciplines. Instead of self-indulgence, let’s choose God-indulgence. “He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.” (Psalm 18:19)
But why wait for a feeling of renewal only one time per year? This can be an ongoing pursuit through coaching ourselves as servant leaders, regularly spending intentional time in prayer, seeking God’s thoughts as we pour over Scripture, and journaling our thoughts, feelings and prayers. We can discover God’s love in a deeper way, gain victory as we have more room for God and find solace in communion with Him.
As we take time for this discipline, we share our newfound freedom with those we lead. “Coaching is the most important servant leadership element in helping people accomplish their goals. After all, as servant-leaders, life is all about helping people get A’s.” (Lead Like Jesus, pg. 124)
Let God help you rearrange and pack things up, so you have room for every new blessing God wants to bestow on you in 2017!
*This article was originally written for Lead Like Jesus and published on www.LeadLikeJesus.com. It is reprinted with their permission.*