Christine Caine - I Need More Space
God is as big as he's ever going to be, but what we need to understand is the God of the universe is made big or small in the hearts of his people. And so the deal is not how big is God but how big is God in you? Have you ever been cramped up in a little space, like a car on a long road trip? Doesn't that first moment out of that space just feel so good when you can stretch and move around. We weren't meant to live life small. Too many people are settling for cramped ideas, confined influence and squish dreams. It's time to stretch out and live in a bigger way. I'm Christine Caine and I have a personal mission to Equip and Empower people just like you to connect with your God given purpose and potential. I am so glad you're joining us today. Let's go straight to the message.
Hey everyone, I'm so excited to be here. I'm so glad you joined us today. I am really thrilled to dive right into the Word of God. We're talking about creating more space. My little girl Catherine, she is now 15, taller than me. We are way beyond this stage where she's already outgrown my shoes. At least I'm safe now. She's not taking my shoes anymore. So she's outgrown all my shoes, she's taller than me, she gets all my clothes. But a couple of years ago she came to me and she said said, "Mommy, I need a new bed". And I thought she was just making it up. So I just kind of just didn't pay attention.
Then one night, Nick and I went into her room. And I felt so sorry, I felt like a mother child abuser because her legs were hanging out of the bed, her arms were hanging out. And the kid had outgrown this little single bed. And so, I looked at it and I thought, wow, it looks odd. And I just felt in that moment that Holy Spirit said to me, Christine, that's what a lot of you look like to me. You have all outgrown the space that you're in. I want to do so much more in and through your life, but I need a little bit more room, I need an increase in bed.
So in this series, over the next few weeks, we're gonna be talking about how to create more space for God in our life because I think God's saying to us that I need more space. We're gonna turn to the book of Isaiah, chapter 54. I love being Australian and saying Isaiah because for all my American brethren, they get Isaiah and so that was for all the Americans. But right here in Isaiah 54, it's a chapter. But right here in Isaiah 54, we just talked about the church it says, "Sing o a barren one, who did not bear, break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor. For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married", says the Lord.
I'm just thinking as I'm reading that about you not being in labor, I'd like to say that I have been in labor but the minute that I started, I was gonna have kind of supernatural childbirth. People had given me the books and the CDs, and I went to the labor ward and I have discovered what the supernatural part is it's that you come out alive. And so I was not gonna have any medication or anything. And I remember the minute the first contraction started, I just grabbed the doctor, and I said, "I want drugs, legal, illegal, I don't care. I am Greek, I know the mafia. I want drugs"!
And it was in that moment that I discovered the fourth part of the Trinity that there is truly God the Father, there is God the Son, there is God the Holy Spirit and there is god the epidural, please don't write me letters, but it was in the midst of all of that. I'm thinking because my husband laughs and says, "Christine, you didn't ever really labor" because after that, I went and had a C section. Praise the Lord. So anyway, I'm just jumping right in. That's got nothing to do with anything but I just thought I would go there and that's what the Bible does to me.
So verse two, "Enlarge the place of your tent and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out do not hold back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your steaks for you will spread abroad to the right and to the left and your offspring will possess nations and will people the desolate cities", I love this. Basically, this chapter describes what the church will be like obviously, it's right there in between Isaiah 53 and Isaiah 55. That's normally where the number 54 fits in. Isaiah 53 it's really where the prophet prophesies the sacrificial atonement, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. I mean, it's such a powerful, powerful chapter, Isaiah 55 describes really what's gonna happen with the end time harvest come everyone who thirst, come to the water. So right between the atoning work of Jesus and the end time harvest is this depiction of the church.
Now, this was a very dark time in Israel's history. There's no doubt about it that Israel had a series of wicked rulers, the land was desolate. The temple had been destroyed by enemies and now the children of Israel, they're in Babylonian exile. And so this was anything but a victorious looking church but God's saying to them, that in the midst of this dark hour, in the midst of this discouraging time, in the midst of this captivity, if you would sing forth praise, you are gonna see a revival like you have never seen before. And God is reminding the church, she's not dead. She's not impotent. Her time is not over.
And I wanna remind you, no matter what the naysayers might be saying around the world today, where people say the church is in decline, millennials don't want to go to church. It seems like God has had his best days behind him and not ahead of him. I'm here to tell you that in the chaotic dark state that our world is in today, these are the greatest days to be alive. This is the greatest opportunity for the church. 2000 years ago, Jesus said, "I will build my church" and guess what, the gates of hell cannot, will not, shall not prevail against the church of the living God. So I'm pumped up because we are poised for a time of harvest right now. Despite the darkness on the earth today. The grace, the love, the mercy of Jesus Christ shall prevail.
You know, things are not out of control I'm watching people on social media. You can see it in blogs. You can see it on Instagram posts and on Facebook posts. There is just so much fear. There is so much negativity people are feeling oppressed and confused about what's going on in the world but you have to know that things are never totally out of control, why? Because God is sovereign and God is in control. Things are not falling apart they are simply falling into place. Things are not unraveling. They are culminating. Things are not going back because he's coming back. So you do not have to freak out. That sky will part, Jesus is coming back, and it's the opportunity of the church on the earth today to be the light and the hope of Jesus.
And so we have to understand that we are in harvest time, you are not here by accident. You do not have to freak out by all the negative news that's there in the media, you can read the good news of Jesus Christ. And you can know that today's a day of hope, today's a day of life. Today's a day of liberty and I am very excited about the expansion time that is ahead for us. I love reading this passage, verses two and three in the message Bible by Eugene Peterson. He says some great stuff. He says "Clear lots of ground for your tents. Make your tents large, spread out. Think big! Use plenty of rope, drive the tent pegs deep. You're gonna need lots of elbow room for your growing family. You are going to take over whole nations, you're going to resettle abandoned cities". I love this you're gonna need lots of elbow room.
I travel a lot, and I'm on airplanes all of the time and I don't know if you ever get stuck on an airplane. It is amazing what happens to your brain at 35.000 feet because it seems you know an armrest is normally about two inches wide. It is amazing how that piece of real estate actually means so much to you when you're up in the air. And you don't want that person next to you actually getting any of your armrest. It is amazing how the fruits of the spirit just go out the window. And in fact you are waiting for that person to go to the bathroom. So you could just plant your whole hand on that armrest and you are just holding on to that territory.
There is an elbow etiquette and the elbow etiquette is not supposed to be betrayed on a plane by you trying to nudge your way across that armrest into somebody else's. Well here, at the end of the day he's saying, God's saying, you're gonna need a little bit more elbow room. Just like my daughter, Catherine had grown out of that bed some of you have been in that same place for way too long. You haven't stretched or enlarged for way too long, you've become bored with your relationship with God and just going through the motions of this thing called life, because it's been a long time since you've stretched and since you've enlarged.
And in fact, every time the enemy sends an assignment and a fear across the earth, every time we're meant to take more territory you will always see a spirit of fear spread across... And you see it around the world today. You see it with the terror on all of the negative news reports that come across. At every major threshold of transition in the scripture, the devil sends a spirit of fear. And we the church are in a major threshold of transition right now. And the enemy wants you to pull back rather than take risks and step of faith and to go out and to enlarge and to stretch so the greatest thing that you can do is to do the contrary thing to what's happening in the spirit of the age right now and to make a decision that you are going to step out.
You know tents, the imagery that Eugene Peterson uses and what God uses actually, in the book of Isaiah he says "Enlarge the place of your tents". Now a tent is something that a Middle East woman would have understood. My family and I were just over in Qatar for a few days with our work with A21, and so we got to go into the desert and see where the Bedouin truly go. It is awesome, I would not want to live there but I think I was very impressed with how they live in these tents in the desert. And you know what I discovered? I had no idea, they actually like know where to go. I'm like looking at it all and it just looks like sand and sand and sand. And just how we have freeways like I live in California and we have the 405 freeways with lanes. I've discovered the desert it's got its own freeways. It really does.
But anyway, so the Bedouin were knowing where they wouldn't going. And I watched them with the tents. Now every Middle Eastern woman would have understood this because if you were gonna enlarge your tent. Now if they were gonna have more children in the family, or if the husband was gonna take on more wives, please don't do this at home. But anyway, that's just kind of unfortunate. I'm very glad I'm a New Testament Christian. But so in the midst of all of that, he was gonna have to make more room. And that meant that the women were using goat skins, were gonna weave together more and more space, so they could enlarge the place of that tent. They were gonna expand the living space.
And the truth is now that the tent was expanded, it would be far more susceptible to the elements and to the wind. So therefore, you had to get those tent pegs and you had to dig them deeper and they had to go deeper. So as God wants us to have a greater influence and to grow broader, he's also going to require that we go deeper internally. There is a direct correlation between the amount you allow God to go deep on the inside and the influence you're gonna have on the outside. Some of us we want God to stretch our influence and God says I want to and I'm going to start by digging deeper in you. And the degree to which you allow God to dig deep in you will mean that you will be able to have a massive influence out there. So these verses contain the keys to growth.
God is not just someone we visit on a Sunday. God is not just someone we tune in once a week on TV. The word became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. I wonder if you've allowed God to move into the neighborhood of your heart? Or do you just visit with God on Sunday because it's very different. You treat a visitor a very different to someone that's moved in to the neighborhood. So when we have a visitor, what do we do? We clean out our house. We make it really really nice. The lounge rooms very, very nice.
And of course, we go into the children's bedroom, we clean up we get rid of all their dirty underwear, put it in the closet. And we go into the bathroom, we get rid of that sandpaper, we put really nice soft toilet paper there because the visitors are coming, we get rid of the cheap cookies and we put the really, really nice chocolate cookies there because the visitors are coming and we warn our children that if they even look like they're gonna fight when a visitor is there, that they're not gonna get Christmas presents for the next 45 years. And so we have already made this decision and so if you're a mother you actually have this sixth sense that you could be engaged with your visitor eyeball to eyeball.
And if you sense that your kids are about to go AWOL, you can give them the evil eye without ever taking the eyes of your visitor simultaneously and they know they are busted when the visitor leaves. And so everyone's sitting down and everyone's really polite. Why? Because the visitor is there but the visitor leaves at the appointed time. They're very polite, then they get up and they go and I mean, they are barely out of the driveway. And world war three is broken out at home, like every evil twin sister comes out and of it happens well, many of us were exactly the same when it comes to going to church. I mean, we are on our way to church we are having a full on fight in the car.
Of course not you that is watching this I'm talking about everybody else but we're having a full on fight. I mean, we are saying many, many words that are not in the Bible. And then we've almost killed our kids and then we pulled into the church parking lot and that spirit of hypocrisy comes upon us because we're visiting God. And so we have just now almost killed someone in the car. But we get into the foyer year a church, and the greeter is there with the bulletin, and they're like, how are you today? And you're like, I'm blessed. I'm blessed. I've been redeemed and sanctified and justified by the blood of the lamb. And in fact, here is my cherubim and my Seraphim and they're going to church as well today they're going to the...
And then we get into worship and we like I worship you God I hate his guts if he thinks he's getting any this month anyway. So we got it's amazing as you are singing I worship you Almighty God, what you can be processing in your brain simultaneously. And then pastor is preaching the word and you are barely in the car and you hit your spouse and you're like did you hear what pastor said? Every word was for you. It was for you every word. And then we go home and we might even be able to stay saved through Sunday. Maybe Monday on a good week, but by Tuesday, our evil twin is way out. Our children do not know where Jekyll and Hyde and what is going on.
And by Wednesday we hate ourselves 'cause we're in this yo yo pattern of two good days, three bad days, we want to be better and we're not and what is the problem? The problem is that we visit God on Sundays and we don't let God invade our Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, he says, I want to move into those broken areas of your heart. I want to move into those broken areas of your life and bring healing and restoration. I need more of you, give me more of your broken heart. That's the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You don't have to get fixed up to come to Jesus. You can bring your broken heart. You can bring your wounded heart. You can bring your damaged heart. You can bring your tormented heart. You can bring your fragile heart to a God of healing of restoration, a God that will bring great great breakthrough in and through your life.
And so what we have to do, is not only give him more room in our heart, we have to give him more room with our eyes. Because as you see right now, on the screen, you see this great picture. This is not a trick question as you're reading that, you go and Christine, what is that? I'm asking you what is that that you see right now. And obviously, this is not rocket science that's a black dot right there in the middle of the screen. And it is true. The fact is that there is a black dot and you are entirely right by saying, Christine that's a black dot. But there is in fact, a lot more white space than there is black dot but our eyes are so trained to look at the black dots of life and the devil will make sure that the black dots are screaming at us that we will miss all of that space where God is because we're looking at where the problem is.
We're looking at where the hurt is, we're looking at where the offense is. We're looking at where the fear is, or we're looking at where the negativity is. And what we need to do is change what we're looking at. Too many of us are looking at the black dots of life and we are filled with fear. We are filled with anxiety, you're popping extra pills, you drinking an extra glass of wine, you're trying to settle your self down because you're looking at the wrong thing instead of fixing your eyes on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith, you are looking at all of the black dots. What if this happens? And what if this happens politically? And what if this happens economically? And what if this happens in the environment?
And what if and what if, what if, and you are filling your life with the black dots of what if which are more likely to never happen, rather than filling your life with the white space of God. Who is full of love, who is full of grace, who is full of mercy, you've got to train your eyes to stop looking at the problems and start looking at your God who is bigger than any problem that you have. And that's how we make God bigger. The Bible says in Psalm 34:3 "Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together". I love that. My kids love magnifying glasses and if I'm not wearing my glasses, I'm using a magnifying glass.
I've hit that age I tried to deny it. I laughed at my mother for years and my mother would always say to me "Christina where you are, I once was and where I am, you will one day be". She was right. And what does the magnifying glass do is it makes the words bigger. It doesn't change the words. It takes what's already on my paper, and it makes them bigger. And that's why the Bible says, hey, why don't you make God bigger? And so we can't make him any bigger than he is. He's omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent. We've said that but we can make him bigger in our hearts. We can focus on him, you now it is you come into church. And what do you do? You come in with all of the weight of the world on your shoulders.
And then all of a sudden, we begin to magnify him, we begin to worship him. I don't know if you noticed, we do not do praise and worship in church because we're waiting for all the late people to come. We are actually coming because we are worshiping the Lord. And what you do is as you begin to see him for who he really is, you know what, at the end of the service, you've heard the word. At the end of this broadcast right here on TBN you've heard the word, you're filled with faith. The fact is when it's over, nothing in your life may have changed in practical terms, but everything's changed because how you see it changes.
And so what we want to do is change our perspective and decide, you know what? I decided this when, after I had been abused for 12 years, then I turned 50. And I remember thinking, I haven't been being abused for 38 years I'm not gonna make the 12 years bigger than the 38 years. I'm not gonna make what the devil did to me bigger than what Jesus did for me. You have got to make a decision that you are gonna choose to magnify what God did.
I remember when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and the doctor called me I had my tests done in America I flew to Australia for a Hillsong conference. And when I landed, it was not even an hour later, the doctor called me and she said that words that nobody thinks they're ever gonna hear. She said, "Christine, I want you to know your biopsy has come back and you have cancer". And I remember she was really nervous to tell me. And so because I could hear some trepidation in her voice, I felt like I had to go into pastoral care for her.
And so I jumped in and I went, Leslie, it'll be okay. I said, you don't have to worry. I said, my battle is not actually against cancer it's against fear. Because there is a name that is above every other name and that is the name of Jesus. But what the devil wants me to do is he wants me to be crippled and paralyzed. He wants me to make the power of God smaller so I forget the promises of God in the Word of God. So all I talk about is fear, is talking about fear. But you know what God has numbered every one of my days. The devil is not gonna snatch me back any sooner than God wants to take me home. And so God already has the victory. So I will not become scared of the C word, which is why I'm calling it what it is. I will not allow cancer to cripple me to 'cause me I'm not dying because of cancer. I'm dying because I'm alive. Death is the ultimate statistic. One out of one will die.
I bet you feel encouraged and so there is no way that was going to take me out. I was going to live as long as God wanted me to live. So I made a decision. I blocked out every other voice in my life. I pulled down my rhema Bible app and all of my healing scriptures and every morning and then every midday and then every night three times a day with my husband 45 healing scriptures we would declare, we would decree them out loud. We did everything we needed to do medically at the same time. But I was going to silence the naysayers. I was going to silence the fear.
I was going to silence the doubt because I wanted to make room in my heart, room in my mind, room in my eyes, room in my life for the promises of God and not the fear of man. I wanted to enlarge the place of my tent God has so much more for you. God wants you to enlarge the place of your tent. God has so many promises still waiting in your future. Don't live a small life. When you can have a big life. You can make God bigger in whatever circumstance you're confronting today. Let me pray for you wherever you are. I can believe that your perspective is gonna shift off your problems on to your God because your God can change your circumstances. I have found that when we pray, God is moved and when God is moved, God can move mountains. So how about we pray to him.
Father, I thank you for your word today. I thank you, Lord, that it's your will that we continue to enlarge, to stretch. Father, you've not brought us here on earth to just settle where we are. But you have so many promises for us in our future. And I pray for every person on the other side of the screen, father that even right now their perspective would shift off the black dots of problems and challenges unto the answer of our great eternal God who is full of love and grace and mercy and goodness and kindness. I thank you, Lord, that you are good that you do good. And even right now you are working all things together for good in the lives of every viewer, in Jesus name, amen, amen.