Clare Johnson is a Christian writer, dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Her writings include original dance productions, as well as her blog, “Hope in the Making”. In 2020 she published her first children’s book, The First Noel a Tale of Friendship. Whether creating through writings or dance productions, her desire is to bring a message of God’s hope and love to others through all her work. She lives in California with her wonderful husband and children and confesses an affinity for cats of all kinds.
Prepare for Expansion – A Word by Clare Johnson
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“Enlarge the site of your tent [to make room for more children]; Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them; Lengthen your tent ropes and make your pegs (stakes) firm [in the ground].”
Isaiah 54:2 AMP
In this passage, it is clear that in the act of enlarging the tent was in preparation, for that which was to come. More than at any other time, God is impressing upon me that it’s time for us to prepare and build that which he has revealed.
God wants us to get a vision, a dream, of that which he wants to build in our lives. It may be something connected to a ministry or gifting that He wants to extend the reach of, or a business, or even just the development of a spiritual or natural gifting.
Actually, God has really been strongly speaking to me about this for a number of years. It began in 2020 as I drove by a local pizza restaurant and stuck in a line of traffic. I noticed they had upgraded the huge dirt overflow parking lot with loose gravel and logs for the spaces and were also working on an outdoor balcony to create more seating for the restaurant, as well as adding beauty and aesthetics to the outside. I knew they had been doing much remodeling and expanding even before that when I picked up a pizza during the remodel. They had expanded to four times their original size from 3,000 ft to 12,000 ft. including a gelato bar, bakery, deli, and a banquet hall.
God began to speak to me of the importance of vision, faith and preparation for building what is up ahead. Most of all He was highlighting that it all began with their vision and imagination; they had a dream and ideas to expand and upgrade, followed by plans and steps that were put into action.
By their actions they were showing their expectancy and belief that if they prepared and expanded for more customers they would come.
This was at a time when many restaurants were going out of business because people weren’t eating out as much and because of government restrictions on them. It was a risk and took courage for this restaurant to put out the provision, finances, and plans to go forward with this plan for expansion. However, if they had the ideas and never took steps on it they would never see the growth and would miss the opportunity of the many new customers that would be drawn in because of the upgraded atmosphere and obvious attention to their business to make it the best it could be.
They prepared for the enlargement. Before enlargement there is vision, planning and steps of action.
God wants us to imagine with Him and dream big. Without a vision there is no expansion. If we can’t “see” it, how can we implement it? “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed (MSG)”.
Back to Isaiah 54, to enlarge the space of a tent one has to pull up the tent pegs and extend them out. God wants to help extend our reach to affect more lives and whatever he’s called us to in this season. Spare not. Think big.
“Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings”. One of the definitions of stretch is “the exercise of something such as the body or understanding or imagination beyond ordinary or normal limits. Of something soft or elastic be made or be capable of being made longer or wider without tearing or breaking.” Also, “something to become longer or wider than usual by pulling at the edges”.
Stretching ourselves may be uncomfortable at first, as we begin to take steps out of the ordinary for us. Someone has said that faith is spelled RISK.
I am currently in this process myself. Recently, God has been confirming over and over that he intends to expand the branding and reach of the Christmas children’s book I wrote in 2020. He’s been giving me dreams of strategy while I sleep of how He wants to do that and visions of a completely new product line to go with the book.
My job is to partner with him and what he is showing me step by step and not drawback because of doubt, unbelief, fear of taking a risk, or rationalizing, “how can I do that financially?”. As I move forward, God will somehow make a way.
For us that walk with the Lord, we move at the sound of His voice. When He speaks to us, whether through a vision, prophetic word, a dream, or some other way, that is our assurance that we can move in the direction of what he speaks knowing that if He’s directing it, He will make it fruitful.
There are those at this time who are beginning to get some vision and understanding of something God is doing it in their lives, and God wants to encourage them to partner with him in those things. What does that look like?
As you take steps to nurture and develop that which God has given, you surely will reap a harvest. Your faithfulness will affect many lives because you took the risk and did the work even though it was out of your comfort zone.
I’ve released words similar to this in the past, specifically, regarding the importance of taking tangible steps towards a vision, no matter how small. I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is because God will honor and meet us in the steps we take.
Finally, as I prepared to write this, God gave me a vision of a horse running with someone running on the side of it, and then while running jumping on the prepared saddle; run with the vision, the jumping on meaning; don’t let the vision run away from you because of inaction. Realize that your place in the saddle has been prepared already for you, so don’t be afraid to jump on.
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak and not lie. Though it tarries wait for it; because it will surely come and not tarry (Hab 2; 3 NKJV)”
“Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. The vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming-it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time (Hab 2; 3 MSG)
“Vision without execution is hallucinations” ~ Thomas Edison
Clare Johnson September, 2023
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