There is a Jewish teaching that speaks of how, in the beginning, God filled all things. In order to begin the process of creation, He had to “contract” Himself to make space for the universe. This is why one of God’s names is “Ha-Makom” or “The Place,” as God is the place of all creation. This concept has always made me think of how women “make space” within themselves for the conception and growth of new life.
The beauty in our relationship with God is that we are designed to reflect His nature. We too can “contract” or empty ourselves through the attribute of humility. Humility isn’t about stripping ourselves of our intrinsic, godly value. If anything, having a healthy sense of our self-worth helps us to recognize the value of others. From this place, we can joyfully step back and give someone else a chance to shine. Even more, we can “take a step” back in our hearts, thoughts, and daily activities so that God might shine through. You could say we have the opportunity to return the favor to Ha-Makom by making space for Him in this world.
In my personal experience, I’ve watched how powerfully the Holy Spirit moves when I intentionally make space for Him in my life. “Making space” often requires me to pause and lay down my own thoughts, motives, schedule, and agenda before taking action in a matter. It means making space for God in my day, my home, and my business. I invite His thoughts and motives to take up residence in my heart and mind.
When it comes to prayer, I try to remember that it doesn’t have to be a lonely, one-way conversation; God is faithful to respond when I give Him room to speak. And when I feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do in a situation, I know that it’s time for me to realign; I pause, choose to become an empty vessel, and I invite Holy Spirit to have His way. He will move mightily when we step back and invite Him into any situation.
Humility can be a joyful place to live from. Just as God didn’t cease to exist when He contracted and brought about creation, neither do we lose our value or purpose when we humble ourselves. If anything, our purpose and value is filled to overflowing when it is filled with the Presence of the Almighty God.
John 3:30 (ESV) He must become greater; I must become less.
Philippians 2: 5-8 (NASB) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, as He already existed in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a bond-servant and being born in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death: death on a cross.