The Lord Has Made Room For Me
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Isaiah 54: 2-3; Genesis 26:19-24
Sunday 23rd February 2014
Today's message 'The Lord Has Made Room For Me' is primarily given to me by God to encourage those who may be experiencing one difficulty or another in their lives. Over the last couple of weeks, we've declared that this year is 'our year of enlargement'. You may have done all you know how to do, and yet the situation has not really improved. As we round up the second month of the year this week, you may have wondered if this declaration is actually going to be your reality, considering the unpleasant circumstances that you have so far experienced.
I want to assure you that there is enlargement and expansion for you. This is indeed your year of elevation, promotion and change. You may be going through a season of contention, but this does not invalidate the promises of God concerning you. I declare from today, that there is 'no more struggle, intimidation and contention in Jesus name'.
To make room is to 'clear out of the way any obstruction or barrier, preventing you from experiencing your destiny in God'. We all have those barriers in our lives – it could be an ailment, or a situation at work, a delay, a deficiency or a situation that looks hopeless. They are all cleared out of the way in Jesus name!
In order to become all that you've been designed for, you need room – yet this is the same room that the devil is contending against. As a church, I believe that God is preparing a large place for us and preparing us for this wide space. In order to experience these, there are two fundamental truths you must hold on to:
(a) God's plan for you is to flourish in life: God desires that you prosper in life. This is a foundation truth as described in Genesis 1:28, which read: “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." See also Genesis 35:11-12.
(b) Recognise that there is a covenant of prosperity over your life: This is more than just an abundance of finances, even though this is included. You must recognise that irrespective of the conditions and location, you have been designed to be fruitful and prosperous, because there is a covenant of prosperity upon you. Besides, God is a covenant-keeping God, and He will fulfil His covenant concerning you. Psalm 89:34 reads: 'No, I will not break my covenant; I will not take back a single word I said' (NLT). Also check out Genesis 15:18-21.
Today, let’s take a close look at the story of a bible character in the book of Genesis – an account of the life of Isaac, as detailed in our foundation scripture. He had a covenant of prosperity upon his life, yet there arose a famine in the land where he lived, that could easily have discouraged Him. Let’s learn about how he overcame this challenge, and experienced enlargement.
The story of Isaac from Genesis 26 begins with a famine – an experience similar to that which Abraham, his father had lived through in his lifetime. God forewarned Isaac not to go to Egypt, but to stay in Gerar. He obeyed and sowed in the land reaping a hundred fold in that same year of famine. The Lord blessed Isaac in crops and livestock, so much that it got to a point that he began to experience the need to expand the land where he lived. He moved away from Abimelech, the king of the philistines as advised and dwelt in the valley of Gerar. There, Isaac’s servants dug two wells – named ‘Esek’ and ‘Sitnah’ – areas where there were conflicts over those wells. Eventually Isaac dug a well in a place called Rehoboth – rightly named ‘The Lord has made room for us’, as there was were no disputes with the well.
We can learn some lessons from this passage: Isaac was living in the time of famine. Famine is usually a very painful experience – a period of struggles and lack; a period of challenges and intense difficulties. There are various kind of famine that we all experience today – in marriages, finances, health, career and business and other areas of life.
The fundamental attitude to famine is to manage how you respond to it and what you are becoming as a result of the situation confronting you, because somehow, we will all at some point in our lives experience some form of famine.
The question is ‘what do you do when famine strikes?’. I guess you may be wondering ‘how can 2014 be my year of enlargement and I am experiencing famine in this area of my life? How can this year be our year of expansion and things are so difficult? How could God promise so much but yet things do not really add up?
Isaac carried upon him the blessing of God but there was famine in the land. Firstly, he obeyed God and did not go to Egypt as this could have been the logical reasoning out of the difficulty. Conversely, we must also obey God. We must never jump to conclusions or make a rash decision in a difficult period, until God has given us the green light to make the next move. Egypt can be described as a place of servitude and pain, even though on the surface, it could look glamorous and exciting. The root word for Egypt is ‘decay’. It is a place where one could become irrelevant.
You need to realise that regardless of the famine, God’s word concerning you will still be realised. Unless you hear clearly from God to move, stay in the place where He has placed you, as your blessing may be right there in the place of your famine. This is what Isaac experienced. This is how Romans 8:14 put it: ‘For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.’ Sonship entitles you to the promise and the inheritance. As you are led by the Holy Spirit, you then qualify for the inheritance that God has prepared for you. So friends, stay in that position in your office, in that business, or your ministry despite the challenges you face, until you hear clearly from God that it is time to take the next step. You must be able to see beyond what you can naturally see. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says ‘So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever' (NLT). So do not make a permanent decision, based on a temporal situation.
Isaac sowed in the land, in famine – a time where there was no rain to cause the germination of the seeds. Yet God prospered him. And such is God’s promise on your life that you need to believe that He will do much more for you! Here is the secret - Isaac understood that if God had concluded that Gerar was the place to stay, then his blessing was right there in that place. Despite the fact that he had a good enough reason not to sow, he did and that same year he reaped an hundred fold.
Friend, you must be careful not to rationalise and use your own words to undo what God wants to do in your life. You need to realise that God’s prosperity is not subject to the difficult conditions. Go ahead, and sow when you need to sow. Do not take your eyes off the plough. Be diligent and productive in what God has called you to do – at work, in ministry, at home and in business. God is bigger than any famine, and can bless you in any situation, provided you remain productive.
Isaac prospered, until he became very prosperous. This got the attention of his competitors so much that Abimelech ordered him to leave the fertile plains of Gerar. Isaac then moved to the valley, as he recognised that he still had to stay where God wanted him to be. There he dug the wells that caused a dispute. Still he moved on till he dug the well of Rehoboth – where God made room for him. His enemies eventually gave up. So must be our attitude in life. As long as you keep believing and hoping in God, the enemy will not be able to overwhelm you.
The same place where Isaac experienced famine soon became the place of his bounteous experience. If he had ran off to Egypt, he would have forfeited his blessing. Here is a food for thought for us all, we must always stay where God has placed us, irrespective of the challenges that we may face.
As this year has been declared our year of expansion, do not make conclusions based on those temporal situations you see in the natural. Raise your faith quotient and believe in God.
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