It is incredible that the I AM should so delight in us that He brings us out of bondage and into the broad place of His love. In Him, we have supernatural life and limitless potential, but we must choose to leave all the things of the narrow place of the past behind. Our God is enough and more than enough.
He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. (Psalm 18:19)
When I read this verse I picture a wide, sweeping meadow with sun-kissed grasses and a stream nearby. It’s a sheltered place that whispers green pastures and still waters. The words carry a quiet assurance of comfort, peace, and love, a sense of being held close to the heart of God which rejoices that I am His. They speak of rescue and deliverance, made safe and secure. But they also speak of endless possibilities and discoveries to come. I’m reminded of the awesome truth that the great and mighty God of the universe delights in me and desires that all things work to my good. This verse is particularly powerful when I find myself in a ‘grey space’ because it speaks of a broad place. Being a farm girl, wide, open spaces talk my language. Their spiritual counterpart is a wonderful assurance of the all of God in my life.
A broad place is always out of a narrow place.
The Bible reveals a beautiful thread of truth woven throughout its pages. This is the reality that He always brings His people out of something before He brings them into something. The Exodus is a vivid example. Out of Egypt and out of slavery then into the wilderness – a broad place indeed with the eternal presence of God going before His people. He then brought them out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land. We are brought out of slavery to sin and into perfect liberty in Christ. Salvation brings us out of bondage to Satan and into sonship in Jesus. Wherever we find an ‘into’ in the Word, there is always an ‘out of’ preceding it. This truth alone is of enormous encouragement when we find ourselves trapped and struggling. No matter where we are or what we face, God always brings us out of and into.
The narrow place is that which constrains us and keeps us trapped and confined. This may be sin or circumstances, but it is always a place of struggle, difficulty, hardship, and even suffering. It represents the antithesis to the full life we now have in Christ. The sad reality is that most of the time, we put ourselves into the narrow place. Egypt is once again a good example. The Israelites were never intended to remain there. It was a place of rescue from famine, a temporary sojourn, but they grew comfortable and compromised, and the result was slavery. Their eyes turned from God to the perceived value of Egypt and left them vulnerable to bondage. But, when they looked to the Lord and cried out in their distress, He brought them out of the narrow place and into the broad place He had promised them.
The nature of a broad place.
There is a very real difference between a narrow place and a broad place. The former speaks of bondage and the latter of liberty. In a broad place, we have space to move and grow. There is potential for the future as well as comfort, provision, and security for the now. Our lives are not bound by situations and circumstances, and we are free to live in the full measure of salvation. In a narrow place, we are trapped by guilt and insecurity. We doubt God’s presence and His goodness, and condemnation is the shackle that binds us to the unhealthy past. The narrow life is one of lack and want, of harvests that don’t materialise and hard work that bears no fruit. It is a life in which our fears and doubts keep us confined, separating us from the love and grace of God and His resurrection life.
Even more powerful, though, is the truth that the broad place speaks of the vast, immeasurable nature of God. He is the I AM, a God who is complete and perfect provision for every need. His power is as vast and limitless as He is, and His love, grace, and mercy are without end. To be in a broad place is to be in Him, where all things are possible and supernatural life in abundance makes for extraordinary ordinary lives. There is no limit to who or what we can be or do in Christ. Our God meets us where we are so that He can lead us out and into where He is. The broad place is that of the supernatural where the power, purpose, and blessing of God all work to our good. Our God desires that we remain in the broad place by remaining in Him.
Into the broad place requires out of the narrow.
It’s wonderful to take hold of the truth that into always means out of. When we feel trapped between the proverbial rock and a hard place, it’s encouraging to know that there will be an out of because He has said so. But we cannot truly enter into the broad place until we fully leave the narrow. It sounds like a no-brainer, but let’s not forget how often the thoughts of the Israelites turned back to Egypt. The fact is that self will sift through the unpleasant and hold onto those things it perceives as having value. It doesn’t want to leave behind the narrow place completely, only those aspects that are negative, painful, or distressing. In other words, self demands the best of both worlds and that simply isn’t possible. A broad and a narrow place must remain different and separate. It’s one or the other.
The Bible makes this very clear. We must come apart from the world, not keep one foot in it or bring the ‘nice’ bits along with us. God ordained at the very beginning that light and darkness remain separate. Jesus told us that if we want our lives, we must first lay them down. If we desire to live in the broad place that is God, we must leave behind all the things that are not of Him. Compromise is the first link in the chain that will drag us back to narrowness and a life half lived. There is absolutely no room for compromise in the kingdom of God. We’re deceived the apparently ‘small’ compromises that don’t really seem important. But anything that diminishes the place and power of God will in turn compromise the measure of life we live. The broad place is all or nothing.
Living in the broad place.
Salvation brings us immediately out the narrow and into the broad place of the promises of God. Everything He is, has done, and desires to do is included in the salvation ‘package’ from the moment we are born again. In essence, we skip the wilderness and go straight to the land of promises. The problem, though, is we’re still bound by our thinking and limited capacity to fully appreciate the full measure of salvation. Self remains demanding and whiny because we don’t fully realise that we must actively remind it that it’s dead and left in the tomb. When we cross over into the broad place of God, we must leave self and all its demands behind, and that is easier said than done. Our difficulty lies in the fact that we must still read, know, and understand the Word for the immeasurable truth of salvation to take hold.
The broad place doesn’t promise a life of ease where everything falls into place and we automagically live in every blessing and promise of God. We have them all – Jesus purchased them on the cross and gives them to us at salvation – but we must discover them and live in them. This requires that we learn to replace self with the Word of God. We must separate ourselves from the things of the past that create narrowness and shut out the supernatural things of God. His broad place is a spiritual place, a supernatural home where His supernatural life must replace the natural, clamorous life of the past. Our Jordan is the cross, which is aptly named. There, as we cross over, we must leave self and move on to liberty in Christ. God has supernaturally done the work, but to live in it we must enforce victory over self.
The broad place is eternal.
To live in the broad place is to live in eternity. This is the significance of our new life in Christ. It’s eternal life which exists above and beyond the limitations of natural life. Our bodies remain in the world, but our spirits dwell in Christ in high places. The ‘real me’ lives a life of perfect liberty, of wide open spaces and limitless potential. As we grow and begin to explore our broad place, we discover there is no end to it because it is God. We can never reach the end of His promises or blessings. He always has enough and more than enough and is our hope, our faith, and our daily bread. He feeds us and teaches us and continually stretches our boundaries to accommodate more of Him. Those who claim the Christian life is rigid and confining have never known the broad place of God.
Eternity is the place of all things are possible, because nothing is impossible with God and He is eternity. We cannot live in His broad place and continue to live by natural means. That is returning to the narrow place, where we continually find ourselves because we put our eyes back on self. But God gives us the opportunity to live in eternity now. He brings us out into a new home where we begin to live by His supernatural principles rather than the natural ways of the world. Our God expands our thinking to encompass the real meaning of eternity, gradually replacing self with His nature and righteousness. He does this so that the world can see the reality and nature of eternity. Our broad place is so that others would see what it is to live in Him and enjoy eternal blessings.
A broad place and the delight of the Lord.
This is a beautiful truth to hold onto. Godset us free, redeemed us, and delivered us into a broad place because He delights in us. He is not compelled to do so but simply does, and when I look at myself and my own life I cannot imagine why. Yet the Bible says He does and He proves it by bringing us out of the narrow place and into the broad place. It’s incredible that the I AM would intervene to rescue us and bring us into His heart and His love, lavishing us with every blessing in Christ. He delights to see us living free in the supernatural resurrection life of Jesus. Our faith and obedience are further delight to Him. He enlarges our boundaries and expands our potential in Him. To live in the broad place is to live in the delight of our God of grace.
Lord, we cannot fully comprehend why you would delight in us but give thanks that You do. Help us to let go of self and the past and to live in the broad place of Your delight and care. Empower us to live supernatural lives in Christ so that Your perfect love and grace will be revealed. In all things, teach us Your ways so that we may in turn teach others to come out of the narrow place and live Your abundant life in You.