1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea,
to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5He went there to register with Mary,
who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.
She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
– Luke 2:1-7
I have been realizing more and more how much I give the Lord the “stable” of my life, rather than room in my heart. HE IS LORD! and yet I relegate him to the left overs, the ugly place, the place that isn’t desireable.

I cling to so many things that I can’t possibly have room for him in my heart. My heart is brimming with all my “must haves” and “don’t touch God!” things! This is so sad and only recently have I begun to be willing to release my death grip on these things that I previously held more than dear. I didn’t realize just how much I was allowing these things to crowd Jesus out of my heart and off into the stable.

Allowing God to finally have diet soda..in all forms (even caffeine free)…has been a huge thing to me. It has almost been 7 weeks and God has shown me that by clearing this stronghold out of my heart that his blessings abound. I feel better than I have in over 20 years! I am convinced that aspartame was definitely a stronghold and it was wreaking havoc with me spiritually AND physically!

But during my time of releasing this to the Lord, I replaced that constant sweet flavor going into my system (I drank diet cherry pepsi or diet 7-up ALL the time!) with having a lure to more sweet foods all the time. So it has been evident that SWEET tasting things have been the primary stronghold for me…probably the same that it always has been. I have just now gotten around to dealing with this. It amazes me it took me so long!

So Monday morning, God called me to fast all sweet foods. I had planned on this being just until Sunday night, but now I think it would be most fitting if it was at least through Christmas Eve. My desire is that I will be able to have restraint once I do stop the fasting of sweets.

Some might be concerned that this is legalism and returning to a yoke of slavery. I just have to say that I have found this to be SO far from the truth for me. I have found in this “restriction” a place of total freedom I haven’t experienced in a LONG time…if ever! I really am blown away that by “making room” for the Lord in my heart, He has so completely flooded me with joy. The releasing of these things has been like the lifting of a burden!

Ephesians 3:16-17a says: I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

This is what I am experiencing! I am so blessed! That as I have made room for Christ, he is dwelling in my heart and I am experiencing the abundance of his riches and power in my inner being. It is true that as I respond in obedience to God’s will, I AM strengthened! Praise God!

According to Strong’s Exhaustive concordance, the word “dwell” means:

1) to dwell, settle
1a) metaph. divine powers, influences, etc., are said to dwell in his soul, to pervade, prompt, govern it
2) to dwell in, inhabit
2a) God is said to dwell in the temple, i.e. to be always present for worshippers

This thrills my heart all the more. Jesus can settle down into my heart, pervade, prompt and govern my soul, inhabit it, and always be present there for me to worship Him…

The key, simply…make room.

How about you? Is there some reason that Jesus doesn’t have room in the “inn” of your heart? Do you find yourself relegating him to the “stable?”

I promise you that if you clear out room for him, release your hold on that to which you cling, He will move in and take up residence–joy, peace, confidence, strength will come with His presence.

No, it isn’t easy. I had huge battles with releasing diet soda to the Lord…but he enabled me (and continues to enable me) to stick it out…and the joy, peace, confidence, strength, delight…is all so very worth it.

John 8:31-32 says: To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

When we know His will and do it…we know the TRUTH and are set free! It is worth it!

Joy to the world,
the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.