How to Create Sacred Spaces in Your Life
- Brian Sutton Pastor
- 2017 10 Aug
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!” And Moses said, “Here I am.” “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
-Exodus 3:1-5 NIV
Exodus chapter 3 gives us a picture of Moses in the far side of the wilderness. When Moses saw a bush on fire (what we call the “burning bush”) he desired to approach it, because he recognized something different about it (it burned, but was not consumed).
Imagine the scene of Moses approaching the burning bush. God instructed him not to come any closer, not because He didn’t want Moses to be close to Him, but because He wanted Moses to recognize He is holy. Wherever God is, His holiness resides—whether it is a temple, a church, or even the far side of the wilderness. Wherever God is, that place is made sacred or holy. It's not made holy because we are there, but because God is there. The scene of Moses taking his shoes off is essential for us. It helps us understand what it means to approach a holy God. A first step of spiritual transformation is comprehending the holiness of the God whom we pursue. Of course, we know our finite minds could never fully understand the infinite God but we seek to know Him, and His holiness, in the fullest sense possible.
Even in the far side of the wilderness the holiness of God was so powerful a common wilderness was transformed and made holy. This was an unbelievable opportunity for Moses to understand the God with whom he would be interacting was a holy God. It is also a wonderful opportunity for us to see the importance of recognizing the holiness of God. Our issue today is not taking off our shoes to approach this holy God but examining the condition of our hearts as we do. God encounters us; God still speaks to us. This is something we should hold dear—something we should consider sacred. Being with God, and being encountered by Him, should not be considered ordinary. What an unbelievable opportunity we have to experience and encounter this holy God! We will need to be intentional about how we encounter God and how we are being encountered by Him. The sacredness of our approach is also preparation for our encounter with Him. Are we giving space in our lives for an encounter with God?
God desires to do a transformational work in and through each of us. I’d like to share a practice with you that I’ve been doing for a while. For me, the issue has never been God’s desire to transform me, but my availability to allow him to do so. Therefore, I have worked to create what I call, “sacred spaces” in my life. These sacred spaces are places (not physical) I’ve carved out in my day in order to encounter God. I give Him the opportunity to speak to me through his Word and by his Spirit.
We live in such a busy and frantic time, creating sacred spaces has become a critical practice for me in my journey to know Jesus. Most people believe they don’t have enough have time to experience the fullness of God. They say, “I wish I had time to pray and encounter God, but I have a 40 hour a week job (or more). With everything I have to do I just don’t have time to be spiritual.” This is why Christians create ranks of spiritual life. Some have been ranked as “super Christians,” those who have time to pray and seek God. We think those super Christians are the ones God is really working in and through. Others have been ranked as “common Christians.” Those designated in this lower rank are just hoping to make it to heaven. I don’t like ranking Christians into levels, because I believe knowing God deeply is not reserved for a few special people. God desires to encounter each of us in a transformational way and if we can create some sacred spaces in our daily lives He will do just that.
Your sacred space can be in your car, or on a busy bus, train, or plane. It can be in your school, on your job, or taking a walk. You don’t have to be completely alone to find a sacred space with God. What makes a space sacred is the same thing that made the far side of the wilderness Holy Ground, God’s presence. God is always with us. Our need is to sense His presence and interact with Him. We can recognize how He is speaking, receive what He is imparting, and respond to his leading.
I’m not really a super-hero fan but as a child I loved reading comic books about Superman. He was my favorite super-hero. In the story of Superman, an average newspaper reporter named Clark Kent was transformed into a cape-wearing super-hero name SUPERMAN. If you have read or watched the story of Superman you remember after Clark Kent would receive some type of distress call from someone in need he would step into a phone-booth, in order to be transformed into Superman. He entered the phone booth as an average person and while inside he was transformed into SUPERMAN! He could now fly, was super strong, and even had x-ray vision. What does that have to do with sacred spaces? If superman needed a phone-booth to be transformed, we need sacred spaces in our lives in order to meet with God for spiritual transformation. These sacred spaces are not physical spaces as much as they are spiritual moments that can be found throughout our day. In these sacred spaces, we allow God opportunity to reveal himself to us and reveal to us the truth about hearts. In these sacred spaces we are encountered by a holy God.
Moses found himself on the backside of the dessert when God encountered him. The presence of God there made that place holy. The presence of God enables us to create our own sacred spaces for transformation, even in the midst of our chaos. If we desire to encounter a holy God, creating space for Him to minister to us will be essential in our spiritual transformation. Where are the sacred spaces you have created for an encounter with a God who loves you?
Brian Sutton is the author of the new book Conversation with God serves as the executive director of discipleship and leadership development for the Church of God of Prophecy, a leading Christian movement serving in 135 nations. After having ministered as a senior pastor for twenty-five years, most recently serving as lead pastor of the Peerless Road Church, he accepted his current role to facilitate the spiritual and professional development of the ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy and develop Christian discipleship processes for the movement. Additionally, he serves as the publisher of the denomination's official magazine, The White Wing Messenger, and as a member of the movement's corporate board of directors, a position he has held since 2010. He also serves as a member of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America Discipleship Commission.
Brian has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Organ-izational Management from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia; a Master of Arts degree in Church Ministries from Pentecostal Theological Seminary in Cleveland, Tennessee; and a Master of Arts Degree in Religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree in Global Pentecostalism from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. .
He and his wife, Renee (a breast cancer survivor), have been married since 1990. They have a son (Will), a daughter (Tayler), and son-in-law (Chris). The family resides in Cleveland, Tennessee. Visit Brian online at www.ConversationWithGodBook.co
Image courtesy: ©Unsplash/Photo by Mike Wilson
Publication date: August 10, 2017
Image courtesy: ©Unsplash/Photo by Mike Wilson
Publication date: August 10, 2017