Make Room – Acts 1:12-14
If we want God to move in us and through us, we have to make room. We cannot produce revival in our strength. We cannot manifest the glory of God. But we can make room for God. The power and presence of God that brings Kingdom breakthroughs in and through us is a sheer gift from God, but gifts often take effort to receive. A child is a gift from God, and yet to receive a child into a family takes effort. Someone could buy you a brand new set of furniture and send it to your house for free. But nevertheless for this furniture to get into your house would require work. It would require clearing away the old furniture to make room for the new. For us to receive a fresh outpouring of God’s Spirit, for us to receive new wine…we need to make space and room in our hearts and lives to receive it.
Ten days before Pentecost, Jesus ascended. He promised before he did so that he was going to give the disciples a gift. Power would come on them and they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is what they would need to fulfill the Great Commission. What did the disciples do in response to this word? They made room. In Acts 1, here is what happens:
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
In the upper room, the disciples made room for God. One spiritual word for this act is consecration. They set aside time and space in their lives for God. The Holy Spirit is looking for a place to land – like Noah’s dove looking for dry land, like a helicopter looking for a landing pad. In the ten days preceding Pentecost, the disciples cleared a landing pad for the Holy Spirit with their upper room prayer gathering.
So, consecration is when we set something aside for God. During this season in Sanctuary we are consecrating space and time for God. We are also called to be consecrated, or set apart, or holy for God. We consecrate ourselves through fasting, through prayer…and through repentance and stripping away extra baggage from our lives. Hebrews 12 says, “let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin that so easily entangles, so that we can run the race marked out for us.” One of the invitations for us as a community as we fast is to lay aside unnecessary things that encumber us, and to lay aside patterns of sin. Doing this makes room in our hearts and lives for more of God’s presence and power.
For many of us, there are some things taking up too much space in our lives. These things may be sinful, they may not be…but they are preventing us from receiving the more that God wants to give us. Let’s clear them away during First Seek.
The disciples made room in Acts 1. Room for God to give them the gift of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. How is God inviting us to make room?
NEXT STEPS, as you step into prayer and fasting:
- Ask God to show you any patterns of besetting sin in your life that are keeping you in bondage? Where deep down you are longing for freedom. Confess this to a trusted brother or sister and ask them to pray for you.
- Ask God to show you anything that is questionable that he wants you to put away to make more room for him in your life?
- Ask God to show you anything that is taking up space in your heart and mind that rightly belongs to Jesus.
- Remember in all of this, that God’s primary attitude toward you is patience and love. He loves you so much and wants you to be free and to have room for more of him. It is his kindness that leads us to repentance.
- Come to one of the Altar Gatherings coming up. We are meeting in our own “upper room” at the church offices to make room for God. Mark your calendar.
- Wednesday Sept 7 @ 7pm @ 12 Bassett St
- Tuesday Sept 13 @ 7pm @ 12 Bassett St
- Thursday Sept 15 @ 7pm @ 168 Lloyd Ave