If you have been following my blog for a while you would know that I love me some Jonathan McReynolds! I love his music because he speaks for my generation (I swear he must have been reading my journals when he wrote Cycles and Comin Out) and I love him as a human being because he seems so humble and authentic.
One of my favorite albums by him is Make Room but he also wrote a book with the same title that I loved just as much. It was the first book I read for 2019 and I read it again in April of this year (2020) to create a workshop for the Girls’ Rights of Passage ministry at my church.
In the book he gave great advice, with relevant and realistic examples of how to make room for God:
- In Your Head
- In Your Dreams and Desires
- In Public
- In Private
- In Your Circle
- In Your Day
- In Your Environment
In addition, the writing style is so conversational that you could almost hear him speaking to you while you read.
I shared some of what I learned with my mentees and now I want to share them with you. I can’t capture everything so I still recommend getting the book yourself. It’s an easy read but it has great content so I suggest you take your time to really meditate on what he’s saying. Below are my favorite quotes and some takeaways.
We have highly contradictory expectations of God. We expect Him to protect us from the consequences of our bad choices – even if we failed to include Him in the decision-making process.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits
Those statements are so true but what’s amazing is that we have a forgiving Father who will help us through the bad choices we make and work things out for good in the end! Ain’t God great?
Making room for God means so much more than how often you go to church or whether you even go at all. It is the room you give God to operate in your life. Making room means giving God space to work in and through your life – the time, energy, and identity you allow Him to use, challenge, and redeem to make a difference in the world.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits
If I don’t yield, if I don’t ask, and if I don’t make room for Him in the areas beyond the church’s walls, there’s a good chance He won’t intervene. For Christians, the two worlds must collide. There is no such thing as a secular life for a Christian unless you really don’t want God to be there.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits
Whew chile! And then he said the following!
We learn how to separate God from the rest of life early in our spiritual development. But no attitude, no activity, and no element of your life should be without a religious or spiritual basis – a faith infused, God-led foundation. There is a Christian basis for posting online, relating to your boss, submitting to your teacher, honoring your mom and dad, performing on your job, and appropriating your talent and money.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits
Man! Gets me every time I read it.
In the chapter Make Room…In Your Head, he began by referencing 2 Corinthians 10:4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds,” (2 Cor.10:4, ESV). And then he said the following,
When Paul spoke of strongholds, he was referring to ideas, doctrines, and beliefs that probably sounded reasonable, but yet were unbiblical, ungodly, or just not God’s will for us.
Strongholds sometimes have a way of infiltrating our belief system in a manner that makes them appear benign.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits
He goes on to talk about the following common strongholds and how the devil can use them against us.
- “The Bible isn’t relevant anymore.”
- “I can’t believe God would send good people to hell.”
- “The Church shames some sins and ignores others.”
- “God knows my hear.”
I don’t know about you but I know for sure that I have said all of those statements and struggled with those ideas at some point in my life. Before reading the book I didn’t think those were necessarily ‘bad’ thoughts, but Jonathan broke them down so well that now I can definitely see how they can be used by the devil.
Listen, the book is really good so there is so much more I want to write but I’m not about to rewrite his book by writing out everything he said on here because one, I’m not trying to get in trouble and two, that’s way too time consuming, so I suggest you GET THE BOOK! I just have two more quotes I want to leave you with.
The first one is of him breaking down what he believes Jesus also meant when he described believers as “the salt of the earth”. He said, “He (Jesus) most likely was speaking to the general usefulness, stability, and value that salt had during ancient times. Used for flavor, food preservation, healing, and other uses, salt was an important commodity”. But then he took it even further, bringing it to this century, by using the analogy of the salt used during winter. He totally blew my mind with this!
Salt changes water on a molecular level, lowering the freezing point at which water can turn to ice. When the salt is present, the temperature that would normally freeze water is no longer low enough. As the salt of the earth, we don’t necessarily warm the ice, but our presence makes it a lot harder for the environment to become frozen- completely hardened and numb to the love and truth of God. The enemy must now work harder to harden the hearts of the people around us because the atmosphere has been softened. Water is not so easily compelled to be ice when salt is in the mix. Could it be that our presence as salt alters the nature of ice so that it no longer feels the need to be ice?Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits.
This last quote really blesses my life every time I read it. As a blogger and influencer (I still have difficulty even calling myself that), I have the tendency to fall into comparison a lot because there are so many other amazing people doing the same things I do. So when the, “you’re not good enough” and the “he/she has more followers than you” and the “nobody wants to read what you write”, starts to come up it helps to hear the following,
Everyone’s journey is different! I repeat, everyone’s journey is different. The meantime between “faithful over a few” and “in charge of many” is unique to you. What you start with and what you end with is up to God, but your effectiveness, your peace, and contentment entirely rely on your ability to allow Him to lead you through it.Jonathan McReynolds – Make Room, Finding Where Faith Fits.
I hope it helps you as well!
Just Doing my Father’s Work!