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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Spacious Life

by Annalene Holtzhausen

Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
2 Corinthians 6:11-13, The Message

In today’s scripture, Paul is speaking to the Corinthians about a life with Jesus, and it sounds so exciting. Are we experiencing this and living this to the world around us?

Daily we’re faced with situations upon which we react, and they form a part of our perspective towards ourselves, other people and circumstances. They also affect how we see the Lord. We often live very ‘small’ lives that limit us and others, limit the Lord and ‘fence us in”, as mentioned in today’s verse. The Lord gives very definite guidelines in His Word for us to live by. These are all for us to remain in His will and under His covering, because He knows the enemy is prowling around and waiting to pounce on us whenever we leave the safety of God’s protection (1 Peter 5:8).

Often though, the guidelines we live by, are not from the Lord. They can be rules and traditions that were instilled in us from childhood and the culture we grew up in, making us believe that it is just the way it is. But do we ever take a moment and line these things up with how God sees them? Ongoing trauma and stress can also limit us to the extent that we eventually feel hopeless and unworthy. Maybe you’re in a situation where another person completely controls you and the way you think. Or maybe you compare yourself so much to others, that you constantly feel unworthy and lack confidence.

Whatever the circumstances are that are causing you to live in a small way, the Lord has more in store for you. He has a wide-open, spacious life that He longs for you to walk in. But how do we move towards this spacious life given the situations we are facing? The mistake we often make, is to put the cart in front of the horse. We want the awful mess we are in, to ‘go away’ first, and then we think the Lord will reveal Himself to us and we’ll find His freedom and peace. We take our circumstances, and then go to the Lord, but we should go to the Lord first, and then bring our circumstances to Him. The Lord tells us in His Word: ‘Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls]’ (Matthew 11:28).

The Lord longs to help us in our circumstances and fight for us, but He longs for a relationship with us firstly. ‘Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need’ (Hebrews 4:16). The cart can’t move if the horse is behind it. Sometimes we need to just look away from our circumstances and way of reasoning for a while, to allow the Lord’s peace and truth into our hearts. When Peter got out of the boat to walk on the water, He needed to look away from the wind and waves surrounding them. He needed to focus on Jesus and who He is, regardless of the storm surrounding him (Matthew 14:28-30). Once we’re established in Jesus, and we find our safe place in Him, He’ll guide us along the best pathway towards healing and restoration.

Prayer: Father, thank You so much for Your truth and for never letting me go. Even though I don’t understand the mess I’m in, and I have no idea which way to go from here, I choose to put my hand in Yours and trust You to show me how to live a spacious life. Teach me how to always find my safe place in You before I go about my life. Amen.

Annalene Holtzhausen is on the Associate Team at Ellel, Africa. She is married to Renier, who introduced her to Ellel Ministries. She is a full-time mother to their two boys. Her passion is for the restoration of women’s hearts and for people to find their worth in the Lord.


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