I’m no stranger to claustrophobia.

Let’s see. There’s the time I almost took out an entire Boy Scout troop trying to get out of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, and the time I climbed six stories instead of taking the elevator…two weeks after a c-section.

Enclosed spaces squeeze my lungs and numb every limb on my body (except those required to climb over scouts).

 

King David also knew something about cramped places.

 

While on the run from Saul and his enemies, he spent many a day crouched in the cleft of a rock or sleeping in deep dark caves. But in Psalm 18, David tells how God drew him out of “deep waters”, rescuing him from his enemies.

Most of us won’t find ourselves hiding in a dark cave — but what about these spiritually cramped spaces?

  • an unteachable spirit
  • unforgiveness
  • discontentment
  • bitterness

No one wants to be hemmed in with these enemies of our faith. Though not framed in flesh and blood, each has the potential to limit the freedom that is ours in Jesus:

 

An unteachable spirit

 

Proverbs 12:15 (The Message) sums it up like this: Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

The opposite of headstrong is obedience, God’s love language. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3) Just as God delighted in David because of his trust in Him (Ps. 18:19), He also delights in us when we intentionally cultivate a teachable, obedient heart. Oh, the places God wants to take us with a teachable spirit!

 

Unforgiveness

 

Allowing thoughts of vengeance, anger, and bitterness to take root in our hearts is to slap down bricks on our own walls, hindering God’s work in and through our lives. It’s no secret that unforgiveness confines us, not those in need of our forgiveness.

 

 

Recently, in our Creative Pauses Facebook Group, women shared some of the most moving testimonies on the power of forgiveness I’ve ever read. They could’ve easily chosen to stay imprisoned by unforgiveness and the world would’ve understood. Instead, they chose forgiveness because of the forgiveness they’ve received from Jesus. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

 

Discontentment

 

Few things drain God’s power from our lives than grumbling.

 

When we choose contentment, we open ourselves to God’s best, freeing us to be the women God created us to be. Now that’s a spacious place!

 

Bitterness

 

“Anger and bitterness are formidable detriments to biblical love, harmonious relationships, and maturity in Christ. Failing to put off anger and bitterness grieves the Holy Spirit, gives Satan an opportunity in your life, obscures your witness to others, and disrupts the unity in the Body of Christ. Dealing biblically with anger and bitterness requires wholehearted obedience to God’s Word in every circumstance and with every person, even if your feelings dictate otherwise.” John Broger

One freeing truth about God’s commands is this: He doesn’t command us to do anything that He has not equipped us to carry out. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:31 ESV

 

 

Trusting God unlocks the cage of spiritual claustrophobia.

 

Trust is the key and obedience turns the lock to provide a spacious place ⏤ unspeakable peace, joy, limitless opportunities, and abundant living!

Creative Pausers, God doesn’t want to confine us⏤He wants to free us! {Thank You, Jesus!}

What (or who) is God asking you to trust Him with today?

 

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