“Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait into a broad place, where there is no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table should be full of fatness” Job 36:16
It is not His desire that we should stay spiritual babes, rather it is His design to bring us forward, to help us grow and enlarge.
At the moment we are extending our little house. As a result, things are busy, messy and chaotic here. Currently we have no phone line, no proper plumbing in the kitchen and big holes in the wall where our back door and kitchen window used to be. It is winter here, I might add…. It is difficult, painful, inconvenient. However, with the greater vision in mind of the complete transformation at the end of all this, I find I can grin and bear the mess and disorder (so far at least).
The process of the enlargement of our home somewhat reflects the process of enlargement in the spiritual life…
Enlargement always comes through straitening.
I love this old-fashioned word. The KJV uses this word and I don’t think any other translation can beat it.
Jesus said: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!” Luke 12:50
It means to constrict, pinch, restrict, squeeze, distress, compress.
We see that Jesus Christ Himself went through a straitening process in His sufferings and ultimately His death on the cross. He was straitened. He was God wrapped in human flesh yet His eternal divinity was compressed into the limitation of humanity.
“This limitation could be removed only by the baptism of dying on the cross. Then the unlimited divine eternal life within the Lord Jesus could be released.” The Experience of Christ, Witness Lee
So why did the Lord of Life have to be straitened?
He was straitened so that we could be brought to the place of enlargement.
It was through His death that His divine Life was able to be released and imparted to us limited, small human beings. He interceded for us by becoming a human-being like us. He was confined, restricted, distressed and squeezed for us so that we could be brought to the place of enlargement by partaking of His divine life.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24
It is only through the impartation of the divine life of Christ that we are enlarged and there is no enduring enlargement apart from Him. But in order for this to happen we are taken through many afflictions, trials and suffering.
As with the renovations all around me : for the new to be brought in, first the old has to be removed. And sometimes that’s painful, noisy and messy.
It is His way of conforming us to the image of His Son.
So if you are feeling pinched, restricted, squeezed and in distress – know that God has a purpose in it. Know that He has not abandoned you, nor is He finished with you. No! Instead He is busy working on and in you to bring you to a place of enlargement. Like clay in the hands of a potter, simply yield to Him, allow Him to do His work and you will be brought through it into a broad and spacious place.
“He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me” Psalm 18:16-19
God bless you!