When we come before God, we come with an expectation. It could be to meet with God on a deeper level through prayer, praise, digging deep into the word or self-reflection; it could be the expectation of wisdom to understand more of His word, for our families and loved ones, for our careers or future- you name it. it is undisputedly always good to have an expectation from the lord; Proverbs 23:18 “Thine expectations shall not be cut off”. One crucial aspect of having an expectation which most of us might tend to take lightly, is the preparation towards receiving that which you are hoping of the Lord. It can be referred to as “making more room.” “Its like a farmer, who has a small barn to store his yams. Some of the yams from last season’s harvest are still stored in the barn, but he hopes for a greater increase this harvest season. He prays for rain, and the Lord sends an abundant rain to flourish his crops. The farmer gets really excited as he sees the lusciousness of his crops that he forgets to extend his small barn to an adequate sized barn, capable of accommodating his expected increase. Finally, the harvest season arrives, and the increase of his yams supersedes that of the previous years. He takes the yams to his barn, only to suddenly realise that he hadn’t prepared for that moment- he hadn’t made more room for his new yams. He hadn’t broken down the old barn walls which limited the capacity of his barn. Now he would have to keep the new barns at a corner by the barn- they might get stolen by thieves at night; or he would have to disperse the yams to friends and relatives, until he was able to expand his barn- he couldn’t trust them enough to take care of the yams like it were their own.” The story of the farmer is a familiar one to most Christians, when we are only focused on “getting there” instead of focusing on improving ourselves, breaking down old walls, changing mindsets and adopting new ones, learning new things, expanding our networks, improving on that which we already have, acquiring the skills we would need to function efficiently and be a blessing to others when we “get there.” Success is achieved when preparation meets opportunity. Sometimes we might be praying for things and it might seem like God isn’t answering- why? Perhaps He knows from a practical point of view that we aren’t ready yet- Remember that God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.
A second example to “making more room” can be likened to a couple who shared a one room apartment and hopes to expand their family. Baby number one arrives, and they find it a little bit convenient but manageable. But as the baby begins to grow, becoming a teenager, and the parents hoping to expand their family, it becomes unbearably uncomfortable and unpractical. As you become fruitful, your blessings grow, and expectations get bigger. you will likewise need to make more room for your increase. It is a continuous process, so long as you don’t plan on being static. Always remember that you cannot receive that which you have no room for. If you are inviting a guest home, it is only logically that you beforehand consider if you have space enough to receive the guest.
Isaiah 23:19 says “hear thou my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way.” When we are expectant, our heart should be aligned towards that which we hope for, and this alignment of heart should be reflected in all our actions. This implies that our actions are shooting arrows towards our expectations. Each arrow is meant to pave the way and bring us closer to the target, because with each next arrow, we become better at shooting and targeting. We do not shoot our arrows to random locations, we shoot only towards the target; our heart through our actions guide the way and determines our readiness.
The lords say in Isaiah 54:2 “enlarge the place of thy tent and let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: SPARE NOT, lengthen thy chords and strengthen thy stakes.”
NOW LET US DISSECT THE ABOVE PASSAGE
- Enlarge the place of your tents: look beyond your present circumstance, don’t let it limit you. take that action needed to get you prepared. you’ll be needing more than what you already have, to manage that which will be entrusted into your care.
- Let them stretch forth the curtains of thy habitations: you’ll be needing people to work with, people who will join hands and minds together with you to achieve a common goal. People who will rejoice in your blessings and will share in your trails and difficulties as well. The concept of expanding means joining hands together, forming a bridge to get to places where one can’t get alone. No one can be at two places at once- we need bridges, tightly knitted connections and relationships with people- our people.
- Spare Not: Give it your all, your commitment, passion, consistency, curiosity, devotion, will, energy, prayer, time and most of all; give it your faith- Stay optimistic, believe that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all you’ve ever desired, Imagined or prayed for. Look beyond every fear and trust in God with all your heart, leaning not on your own understanding, and He will surely come through for you.
- Lengthen thy chords and strengthen thy stakes: in order to have the desired impact God purposes; you might need to go a bit farther than you are comfortable with, you might need to think much more bigger, you might need to get used to the fact that people will call your idea crazy or unrealistic, it might require a concrete sacrifice, you might need to work harder on this thing, it might also take some time and you’ll have to be patient. You will have to strengthen your chords by the experience derived through the patience of practice. But although failure will knock at the doors of your attempts, do not let it discourage you or make you shy away from pursuing your dreams- it is a good training, as you will get better and stronger and wiser each time you rise from a fall. This will build and refine your character and the person you are, so that you can handle that which is given into your hands- be mindful that it is not for the feeble minded, so you must be courageous and bold enough to take it when it comes. Likewise, you must be disciplined to maintain consistency, so that, that which is entrusted into your hands stays and becomes fruitful.
LET US PRAY
Lord in faith, we look beyond that which our eyes can see… We look unto Jesus, the author of salvation. We lay our expectations, hopes, dreams, desires and needs at your feet Lord Jesus. we pray that you move and let the lines fall in pleasant places for our sake. Give us the strengthen to give it our all, and to keep holding on to your promises. Amen!!