Choose: Faith as a Lifestyle – Create Space
Do you ever find yourself feeling like adding time with God into your every day is asking too much? Perhaps, you wonder if it’s necessary? Maybe, your schedule is bursting. You could also be stalled out wondering, where to start when it comes to living faith beyond Sunday morning service.
This week’s episode acknowledges this is tough. It takes our faith as a lifestyle series deeper by discussing what it takes and outlining the what we need.
Everything we have is because God has allowed it.
Creating and maintaining space for Him in our home is a necessity.
It opens us up to give Him thanks for his provision and to show our gratitude for His blessing.
Join me as we look to see what makes up that space.
Episode 11 Transcript
Welcome to Episode 11 of the She Chooses Podcast. We are 3 Episodes into a series studying faith as a lifestyle. If you’re just now catching it, I recommend going back to the first episode – which picks up at Episode 9 of the Podcast.
This series is for the woman looking to take her faith away from a Sunday morning Church visit, by allowing it to get to the place of overflow where it is pouring into your daily life, and steps into the place of authenticity that we are so desperately yearning for. Our soul craves for daily walking with Jesus.
Working through this study we are taking the life of the Shunamite woman, and breaking it down bit by bit.
I was just studying her earlier this week and experienced one of those moments with her where my mind began to go down another trail looking at her from a completely different perspective. It served as one of those moments that drill within us the truth; God’s word is a well that never runs dry. We can’t study the Shunamite for 4 or 5 lessons, check a box assuming we’ve got her figured out, and put her life’s lesson on a bookshelf and be done with her. In time, we’ve got to come back to the well for another drink.
The same is true with all the entire Bible. Our journey through the Word – is daily consumption involving a relationship that lasts a lifetime.
We’re going to take several episodes to work through her – but my hope is you won’t stop your study over her. There is so much more for us to glean from this beautiful pattern God has laid out for us.
Picking up where we left off:
Her interaction with Elisha is progressive. The Shunamite has taken note of him, her curiosity is piqued. She’s watching him, and wants to get to know him. She provides a meal for him. She’s giving him bread as he comes through town. Over time, she determines she wants to do more for him.
She’s taken note that he is a holy man of God. We mentioned that we too get to that same place. The more we spend time with the Lord, the more our eyes are opened to see who He is. As this was happening to her she was no longer satisfied with just providing bread for him, she wanted to create a space for him inside of her home.
Creating space for God inside of our home is something we could very easily neglect or skip over.
We’re all busy. Our schedules often work against us in this area specifically.
The Shunamite woman serves as a great reminder for us to create this space, but also our need once we have it to guard it. We must be protective over it.
Everything we have is because God has allowed us to have it. The home we live in, the family and friends we have, the jobs we have, money, cars – all of it, is because of Him, so creating and maintaining this space for him really is a necessity to give Him thanks for His provision and to show our gratitude for his blessing.
2 Kings 4:10-17
10. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither.11. And it fell on a day, that he came thither, and he turned into the chamber, and lay there.12. And he said to Gehazi his servant, Call this Shunamite. And when he had called her, she stood before him.13. And he said unto him, Say now unto her, Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? wouldest thou be spoken for to the king, or to the captain of the host? And she answered, I dwell among mine own people.14. And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.15. And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door.16. And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.17. And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.
Last episode we talked about the Shunamite’s active faith, here we see that faith taking another step. We see this when she says: “Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be when he cometh to us, that he shall turn thither.”
These are modest accommodations that seem very simple, but are all very intentional. She was considerate and thoughtful when she decided what to put in that room. When we look at them deeper we find they pattern for us what our life should look like when we go to create space to make God part of our every day and to make our faith a lifestyle.
Each item she placed in that room was intentional. A lot has been written about these items so we’re going to speak to all of them high level knowing we can dig a lot further into each if we wanted to.
Let’s look at the bed first.
This was a place for Elisha to rest. Rest is a necessity. How many of us can say we need a nap today? Or how many of us have been guilty to say we’re crazy busy, and just have not had time for something. We have all been there and are probably there now. It’s our culture. But busyness shouldn’t be looked at as a badge of honor. We need to be reminded that busyness does not equal effectiveness. We really must guard our calendars, and make sure that we’re getting the rest and sleep we need. Consistently in scripture we hear God’s reminder to Be Quiet. Be Still. To Rest.
We’re all engaging in different battles in life; whether they are taking the form of stress, our job, health, relationship, etc. Often we’re trying to battle these with our own natural means, but God is calling us to bring these things to Him. He says, cast all your cares on Him because He cares for us. That’s true, and part of that casting involves our obedience to bring the care to Him – and Rest. He even calls us into a weekly Sabbath, a day dedicated to be with him, and just rest. But for many of us rest is a struggle and requires a whole lot of focus and effort because we aren’t currently wired for that. That bed was there for Elisha to rest. That bed is a reminder to us of our need for rest.
The table is a reminder for nourishment. We must be fed both physically and spiritually. Our physical eating is easy to identify. We don’t like the feeling of an empty stomach. Our stomach even growls as a reminder to us, “Hey we need to eat.” We do fairly well with this one, right? We all could probably fuel our bodies more nutritionally, but for the most part we’re all getting this part done. The part where we most often struggle is with spiritual food.
I did a study once correlating physical anorexia to spiritual anorexia, and it was astonishing to see someone that suffers from physical anorexia will get to a place where they do not even desire food. They can forget about it, they lose their appetite. They become numb to that feeling and those signals that say, “Hey, it’s time to eat.” The same sort of thing happens to us spiritually.
There are signals that our spirit needs fed (emotions, stress can be a warning to us that we need to pray, or we need God’s word), but when we aren’t feeding it we become numb to knowing what those warnings mean). Kind of like someone that gets hangry when their hungry. I get that way, and my husband has to remind me that I have not eaten. All the while, I’ll just be thinking I’m mad.
Most often we can try to live on weekly spiritual meals from Sunday to Sunday. We think it’s enough, but our spirit is literally starving and craving more. So how do we get that into our daily life? The Word of God is called our daily bread. I go to my parents house for dinner occasionally, but I still eat food daily in my home. I may prefer what my mom prepares but it’s not possible for me to be at her house every day. I still have a family to feed. My own body needs nourishment daily. The same is true for consuming the word of God every day. We may prefer the word our Pastor is ‘Feeding’ us but we’ve still got to sustain ourselves until we hear it the next time.
God uses the natural to explain the spiritual; this is one of those spiritual concepts He is showing us. When we start to consume God’s word every day our appetite for it is awakened just the same as someone recovering for anorexia, over time that appetite returns.
The table was there for Elisha to receive nourishment while he was there. The table is a reminder for our nourishment. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Matt 4:4, “But he answered, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Physical and Spiritual Food.
This was more likely a seat of honor, and less likely the meager stool we often jump to in our mind. Kings sit on a throne. When we pray, we approach the throne of God. When I feel like I pray well – I imagine approaching the Throne. Often times the reason we’re so busy and not resting is because we’re trying to control our way through different circumstances rather than taking them to God, and allowing him to take care of things or lead us through them.
This stool is a reminder of our need to pray. Prayer is something we should seek to develop into a daily practice. In the beginning we may find ourselves only going to God when we need something or when we get blind sided by something, but God is seeking more, and is calling us to a place of prayer that is happening daily. All good relationships require communication. Think of your closest relationship, the reason it is close is because you talk. It’s the same thing with God; for our relationship with him to be good, we’ve got to communicate with him.
Philippians 4:6 – “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Illuminated the room. Psalms 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Spending time with God in his word, reading the Bible, listening to the Bible, hearing someone speak a message. These are all ways we activate that light in our life. Something happens when we do these things. It’s amazing how our mindset can change.
We can be super frazzled and have no idea how to handle a situation, but it’s astonishing how the Word of God can remove our fears, and shine a light into a situation, or reveal an answer. It gives us clarity. Often times we’re trying to navigate life like we’re walking down a hallway without any source of light, and we’re bumping into things, and cannot find our way. Maybe we’re stubbing our toe, and all that painful frustrating stuff, because we’re not using the light that has been given.
What’s cool about a light though, is that light isn’t just for our benefit. Yes it helps us get through a struggle and allows us to bypass the frustrating things – but it also opens up a path for others to see.
These furnishings all point us to different spiritual disciplines.
Think on these things this week, and consider, “Do I have this as part of my lifestyle. and if not, what can I do this week to work to incorporate them?”