Tag Archives: tent

Isaiah 53-56; Colossians 1

Here is a portion of scripture that I have found on many church walls, well not the whole portion, just the first few lines, but the rest explains the vision of the church’s desire to see God grow the church.

“Enlarge the place of your tent,
    and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
    and strengthen your stakes.
 For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left,
    and your offspring will possess the nations
    and will people the desolate cities.

 “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed;
    be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced;
for you will forget the shame of your youth,
    and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.
 For your Maker is your husband,
    the Lord of hosts is his name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
    the God of the whole earth he is called.

 – Isaiah 54:2-5  ESV

While the tent is identifiable to me as something easily moved, it is not something that can weather a storm. That is why the following verses above means so much. My goal is not to stay  in one place – I need to move as the Holy Spirit leads. The only time I will be in a city and have a solid home is when I am called into the city of God. That is the idea I get through so many scriptures in the New Testament calling me to preach the gospel where Christ has not yet been named, to leaven with the gospel those who are strangers to it and ultimately, lengthen the cords of my tent so that more can be enclosed. With these promises comes divine power. That is why I will not be ashamed. I can remember when I messed up badly at the beginning, but those days are gone now that I walk in confidence with God. I find it hard to believe that I am actually married to Christ. He is my Redeemer for He brought me out from my captivity and my bondage to sin. As the Lord of hosts, He has this irresistible power that I am drawn to and I give Him, actually try to give Him, absolute sovereignty in my life. I know that one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Until that day, I plan on doing the same, each and every day.

And as for my call to enlarge my tent – I follow my call to be a disciple-maker.

Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. – Colossians 1:28  ESV

Father, thank You for my call, thank You for walking with me, thank You for Your power and wisdom that You freely give me to share the gospel for all who want to receive.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

 

Leave a comment

Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Colossians, Isaiah, New Testament, Old Testament, Uncategorized

Exodus 17; Luke 20; Job 35; 2 Corinthians 5

For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.   2 Corinthians 5:1-5  ESV

All Paul’s talk about tents makes me think of my time as a Boy Scout.  I spent a LOT of nights in tents while in scouting, most of them memorable.  I remember my brother and me diving into our tent to take refuge from a cloud of those demonic black flies that infest the Canadian wilderness in the spring.  I remember shivering through the night with 20 of the guys in a lean-to in single-digit temperatures.  I remember my friends and I unknowingly pitching our tent in a dried riverbed in Yellowstone.  We discovered our error only when it reverted to a river during a downpour that afternoon.  I endured the worst thunderstorm of my life one night in a tent in a Vermont valley.  That was a good night to be in a tent.  We once set up our tents by the shore of Nevada’s Lake Powell.  The stars were so vivid that night that we arranged our sleeping bags on a tarp on the ground, drifting to sleep gazing at the sky.  That was a good night to be out of the tent.

A couple days later we arose from our tents before dawn, laced our boots, filled our canteens, and descended into the Grand Canyon for the hike of a lifetime.  We braved the scorching August sun, choked on the dust kicked up by the careless feet of those in front of us, and by early afternoon had descended a vertical mile to the Colorado River.  Our scoutmaster insisted on snapping a group photo before we retired to a cabin at Phantom Ranch to rest up before continuing to the far canyon rim.  One of the guys posted it on my Facebook page last year.  A pretty picture it is not.

Despite our exhaustion, it was too hot to sleep, so when 9PM arrived and we returned to the trail, I was more interested in finding a nice soft bed.  Instead we marched.  For hours.  Through the deepest  of the night.  The concrete slabs placed across the trail to keep mules awake served us with the same purpose, but stepping over them soon made each foot feel like lead.  We had to keep to the middle of the trail for fear of rattlesnakes, but had to jump off the trail to avoid the scorpions.  We still choked on the dust, and we trudged on.  By 2AM I was virtually comatose.  Our promised resting spot was just around the next bend according to our scoutmaster, but he’d been saying that for hours and it had become the running joke.  In my daze I looked up, and once I did I couldn’t look away.  The silhouette of the canyon wall was plainly visible high above against the brilliant star-field, and there at the edge glowed the most beautiful palace I could imagine.  The Grand Canyon lodge sat perched on the rim above and before us, so tantalizingly close, yet unreachable.  As I stared at the soft lights illuminating the exterior, my thoughts were of those inside, those who had feasted in the evening, those who had watched the sun set across the most wondrous of the natural wonders of the world, those who were sleeping like babies on impossibly soft beds in air conditioned rooms.  It was the most beautiful sight I could imagine at that moment, and I longed with all my heart to be transported there that very instant.  It was literally my shining city on a hill.

That agonizing and amazing night comes to the forefront of my mind when reading 2 Corinthians 5.

The Holy Spirit resides inside me, but I still reside within a tent of fallen flesh.  My spirit groans now, and grows louder each day as I grow in Him and He grows in me.  But, God has made a promise, and each day brings me closer to the moment He will free me from this tent that ensnares me, closer to the moment He will install me into a permanent, eternal dwelling fashioned personally by Him.  That dwelling will possess dexterity and strength I’ve never commanded, with talents and capabilities I can’t imagine, a body fit only for an adopted prince of the King of the universe.  In it I will not suffer, I will not grow weary, I will not fade, I will not fail, I will not sin, I will not cease to worship my Father and Savior and Counselor.  I will love Him perfectly, I will serve Him faithfully, I will delight in Him purely, I will glorify Him endlessly!  The moment is getting closer, and one day I will finally come around that last bend.

 

Michael  (mmattix)

2 Comments

Filed under 2 Corinthians, 66 Books, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament