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Finding Open Spaces

Today's Devotional

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Exodus 33:11

In his book Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson writes, “We must have some room to breathe. We need freedom to think and permission to heal. Our relationships are being starved to death by velocity. . . . Our children lay wounded on the ground, run over by our high-speed good intentions. Is God now pro-exhaustion? Doesn’t He lead people beside the still waters anymore? Who plundered those wide-open spaces of the past, and how can we get them back?” Swenson says we need some quiet, fertile “land” in life where we can rest in God and meet with Him.

Does that resonate? Seeking open spaces is something Moses lived out well. Leading a nation of “stubborn and rebellious” people (Exodus 33:5 nlt), he often withdrew to find rest and guidance in God’s presence. And in his “tent of meeting” (v. 7), “the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (v. 11). Jesus also “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Both He and Moses realized the importance of spending time alone with the Father.  

We too need to build margin into our lives, some wide and open spaces spent in rest and in God’s presence. Spending time with Him will help us make better decisions—creating healthier margins and boundaries in our life so we have the bandwidth available to love Him and others well.

Let’s seek God in open spaces today.

Why do you need margin in your life? How will you build some space into your schedule to spend time with God?

Jesus, help me to seek some quiet moments with You each day.

For further study, read In His Presence: Spending Time with God.


Moses spoke with God “face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11). God highlighted this privilege when He rebuked Aaron and Miriam and said “with [Moses] I speak face to face” (Numbers 12:8). But Moses wasn’t the only person to have such a deep friendship with God. Abraham too was called “God’s friend” (2 Chronicles 20:7; Isaiah 41:8; James 2:23). And now, because of Christ, this privilege is ours also. Jesus says, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants . . . . Instead, I have called you friends” (John 15:14–15).

By |2023-08-20T02:33:06-04:00August 20th, 2023|
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