man standing on rocks near beach during golden hour
The Wilderness

Leaving Margin for the Miraculous

Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. Joshua 23:14 (The death-bed testimony of Joshua, Son of Nun, who, in his youth, was Moses’ attendant who never left the tent of meeting, one of the spies who gave a good report of the promised land, who was forced to wander because of the disobedience of His people, and who remained steadfast to receive the inheritance of the promised land, by faith, enduring in steadfast trust until the end of His days.)

You know that moment when you feel it. The terrifying feeling of knowing that you are unable to get yourself out of a bad situation on your own. It’s the feeling of imminent loss, pain, ruin, or death. Unless God moves, we will not make it.

These moments require the training of the heart in advance. I will trust. I will not fear. I will speak out of my faith, and I will not give doubt a voice.

It’s in these moments we are tempted to look to our own strength, wisdom, knowledge, and bleak assessment of the situation and move into negotiating our surrender to Egypt like Judah did in the end–brainstorming and problem-solving our way back into slavery. After all, who would blame us for backing out or giving up under these circumstances? And who would blame us for going back when there is literally NO WAY OUT. It’s in these moments I like to remind myself: Don’t panic. Remember, He likes to leave margin for the miraculous.

Don’t panic. Remember, He likes to leave margin for the miraculous.

So when you find yourself in that space between a rock and a hard place, where you have no options but crying out to God for help? That’s the margin for a miracle. Don’t resent God for putting us in places where we need His intervention. Ask Him for help and wisdom, both to perceive the situation and to know how to respond. He’s training our hearts for bigger leaps of trust, for greater inheritance of glory that the human eye cannot even begin to perceive. In the Kingdom economy, relying on God and asking for help is not personal failure, it is the very definition of personal success and qualifies you to rule and reign under His leadership.

The Mental Margin, Learning to Leave Space for a Miracle

In watercolor landscapes, there is often a little line of unpainted paper left unwet between the land and the sky.

This allows you to work on both sides of the horizon at the same time without one bleeding into the other. It’s a margin for the miraculous. A dead end for the water. A no-pass zone. We leave these margins on purpose because we know that if we try to paint everything at once, we will get a soggy, paperful of muddy colors, with no distinction in texture, depth or brilliance of color. In other words, what seemed a lack of action is actually full of intent, to distinguish between heaven and earth, and , at the same time, to show us where they meet.

Often, what seems like a bleak moment of inaction on God’s part is left intentionally for us to recognize our helplessness (earthly weakness) and call on His name for our salvation, in faith, not fear, which gives space for Him to show, in one highly contrasted moment, His power and might coming to deliver us from our enemies. The space where heaven meets earth–the margin for the miraculous.

Look at the insurmountable obstacles the Jewish people faced leaving captivity.

An unrelenting Pharaoh who hardened His heart against the Lord. A hopeless situation or margin for a miracle? The way out of the enemy’s clutch was the first miraculous pass-over of death through the blood of the lamb.

Red sea before them and an army behind them. Another dead end of hope or margin for a miracle? In the crisis, God gave a way through the waters on dry land, a passover from slavery to freedom.

Waterless wilderness and thirsty children crying. Certain death or margin for a miracle. God heals the water and presents Himself as their healer. A passover for many from idolatry to meeting the healing power of the one true God.

One pair of shoes. Certain ruin or margin for a miracle. A passover from prepping to supernatural provision. Their shoes never wore out.

Need I go on?

The Jordan rivers raging strong, yet split in two at the presence of Yahweh. Jericho’s walled city tumbled by trumpets. Giants in the land brought down with a slingshot. Prophet-killing kings laid low with fire from heaven. And yet, in the end, God’s people still chose to return to Egypt, to a puppet king, to a newfound slavery of foreign rule from the inside. They did not choose God as King. They bribed earthly kings for protection, instead out of fear (Isaiah 30-Isaiah 31)

Oh God, by your grace I will not make the same mistake. Their horses are of flesh not Spirit (Isaiah 31:3). When I come up against the impossible, I will hold out for the miraculous. I will choose Your Way of repentance, rest, quietness, and trust. (Isaiah 30:15-33) I will not trust in the riches of men to give my heart the stability it longs for. My stability is in you.

We train our minds and hearts ahead of time.

Now that we have chosen HIS way, the difference in our life and the life of Israel in the book of Isaiah is that we are no longer under the judgment of God because we have repented and received the gift of Yeshua’s atonement for my sins. We are actually free (Israel will one day be free in Messiah too).

His Presence Gives Perspective

Even still, we can be honest and say that there are still things that look very impossible in our lives and the lives of other believers that I love. There are frustrations that we can’t seem to see His purpose in, relationships that have no human possibility of being healed, concerns that seem unmet by His hand, situations with no visible evidence of His attention, pain with no physical assurance of His touch.

But every time I step into His presence it’s like my perspective zooms out and I can see His heart in what He is doing and not doing. This is why I need to do pull away with Him every single morning. I hear Him telling me to leave margin for the miraculous. Don’t strive or labor to accomplish your way through. Don’t fix my friend’s problem or intercede as it seems right to me. Don’t mediate on human terms. Don’t advise based on my own wisdom. But walk by the Spirit. His presence will give you perspective on every single situation that you ask Him about. If you need wisdom ask.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)

Why is this still so difficult for me to learn? His patience must know no bounds. His humility must be so great that He waits for me to show me His glory, so that I will not be destroyed by the enemy but rescued by the wisdom and power of God at the exactly right time. I realize, once again, with much humiliation (because I should know this already), that His intent is, actually, to rescue me. He is willing. I find myself running up against these seemingly dead ends of affliction and suffering often these days in the painting of my life and in interceding for others. But they are not dead ends according to the Word of the Lord.

…they are not dead ends according to the Word of the Lord.

I see a million tiny miracles every day, I am filled with hope. While I struggle with the long-term pain, the long-term struggles, the un-whole places that still need deliverance and healing, I find “enough” strength for the day. I struggle with doubt when I have only “enough” bread, money, and strength for the day but at the end of the day I do actually have “enough.” I am embarrassed when I hit a wall of my own physical and emotional abilities to push through and have to stop, but at that moment, I hear the Lord inviting me into rest saying “you did enough.” It feels like giving up, for people who used to live by agendas and checklists. But gradually He re-calibrates our hearts to His pace. The ministry of Yeshua shows us that stopping and coming close to God, declaring your weakness to Yeshua, and asking Him for help is part of being healed.

It is only when the impossible earthly reality of the situation is faced that you hear Yeshua saying in your heart: “With man it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.” Boom. Heaven meets earth. The realities collide and God delivers miraculously. We just have to wait for it. Abraham waited for the land even though he never even saw the fulfillment of God’s promises to His descendants and gained sons and daughters from all nations of the earth, by faith. Abraham and Sarah didn’t wait and hurt their marriage and maidservant and son in the process. Isaac waited and got Rachel. Moses waited and was called back to Egypt to fulfill a destiny of deliverance that only He could fill. Joshua and Caleb waited and received the land. Saul couldn’t wait and lost a kingship and a legacy for it. Daniel waited for days because of supernatural interference but remained and got his answer. Anna and Simeon waited and saw the Messiah. Mary and Martha waited and saw their brother resurrected. Jesus waits to return and wins the fullness of the Gentiles and His Jewish Bride.

In the waiting, in the margin, He is leaving spaces for us to meet Him in prayer for intercession, deliverance, and communion in His suffering. We know He loves us enough to want us to know Him as our personal deliverer. He is creating room for Himself to work and setting certain things apart in us for special purposes and times. He is moving in layers, working background to foreground, building the intensity and texture and depth of my story. Surely we are His masterpiece, and our deliverance and fruitfulness the result of our yielding to His labor in our hearts and bodies and minds. Surely we will be a story for the history books, not of our own legacy but of His glory. And He does glory in us, His creation! Oh the infinite beauty and mystery of the divine nature we partake in! For that is our predestination, salvation for all who believe AND also that we have a wealth of God’s glory to wear upon us and flow through us as an inheritance as we walk faithfully in the good labor prepared for us to do, for His glory. (Ephesians 1:11-18).

It is God’s gift that we are saved, not our labor and toil [we receive it and enter rest from toiling for our own salvation]; so no one can glory in themselves [or their labor and toil], but we are the masterpiece of Christ Jesus [His work, the result of His labor and toil], so we walk in the good labor and toil God planned for us long ago [that is, from a place of repentance, rest, quietness and trust, working the field of souls now, from our place of glory-filled inheritance of intimacy with the Father in heavenly places, to obey God in preaching the completion of the law in the gospel of Yeshua, which is repentance, rest, quietness, trust, and wholeness, making disciples and building up the Jewish/Gentile congregation and one new body of Yeshua here and one day, ruling and reigning with Him in eternity in His Kingdom]. Ephesians 2:10 (with my notes)

So when He leaves margins for miracles in your life, do not give up hope. It is His work, not yours, that will deliver you. You are only responsible for what HE is asking you to do, so ask Him what that is, because it’s probably very different than what you might be thinking. Based on your actual willingness and availability (which depends on you) to work alongside Him, He is very specific with His assignments, and most of the time, He gives them with very short notice, which is why you have to do the one thing necessary of sitting at His feet every day and listening to get your instructions. Ask Him for His perspective and see the bigger picture. In the process of following Yahweh, cloud by day and fire by night, step by step, no part of your story will be untouched by His love. He is absolutely determined that you will know His power and mercy (as far as it depends on Him; He will not force you). He is happy to explain His heart to you. He is not desiring your destruction, but your salvation. Your pain, your guilt, your weakness, your sickness, your sins, were all crucified on the cross with Yeshua so you could live free. If the suffering is too strong, cry out. He hears you. If you’re tired of crying, rest in His love. He holds you. If you have been to every doctor and are sick of the pain, grab onto His promises and do not let go. He intends to keep them.

Remember, He loves to leave margin for the miraculous. So we discipline our hearts to trust Him explicitly, leaving no room for confusion or doubt. He will not forget us. Every promise He made to us, He will keep. What promises have been made to you by God? What feels impossible in those places? And how do you thing He might be leaving margin for the miraculous in your life?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *