Reflections from the tent…

Today we (our family) spent some time in our tent…It proved to be a good metaphor for what God was wanting to speak to us about. We had already spent some time talking about Jesus being the vine and us being the branches from John 15 but I felt we should go and sit in the tent and listen to what God was wanting to speak to us about.

As we sat there with the rain pouring down on the canvas and the wind coming in under the sides it was a precious time of reflection on our own journey…

We read some verses from Hebrews 11 about people who had lived in tents and who are described as “Heroes of the Faith”. This is how they are described in Hebrews 11:33-38:

“…who through faith conquered Kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, and they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground…” 

People of faith are always on the move and always willing to roll up their tent and move on when the good shepherd calls them on. In fact the tent and what they are doing is not really the issue – the issue is about hearing what God is saying and fleshing that out today. Tomorrow might be a different thing in a different place

We read about Abraham who, “obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents…..” (Hebrews 11:8-10)

Abraham lived as a temporary resident in the place of permanant promise. By faith he “stayed” there. On our own journey we have metaphorically rolled up our tent and moved to dwell in another place. God used these scriptures to encourage us to keep living like foreigners in this place where God has shown us. People of faith in the scriptures were people who glimpsed something from God and fought tooth and nail for that. Often it cost those people everything. If nothing else it caused them to leave their comfort and dwell in tents. To live a life on the road to not settle for worldly acceptance and comfort.

Maybe like us you are dwelling in tents in a ‘new place’. Maybe like us you don’t know all the answers and sometimes the fruit in this new land feels far from encouraging. We want to encourage you to stay there! Stay in the land that God has shown you.

Living in a tent leaves you open to the elements. Living in a tent feels less secure than being in a solid house/building. Living in a tent allows you to move anywhere at God’s bidding. Living in a tent allows you to move and dwell among any people on the planet.

As we sat in the tent this morning it wasn’t a particularly ‘pleasant’ experience. It wasn’t warm and cosy. It was a bit damp. But it was exciting and all our senses were awoken! We wouldn’t swap dwelling in tents with Jesus for anything else! Don’t settle. Don’t become too comfortable with your current situation that you are unable and unwilling to roll it up and move on…

To all the tent-dwellers out there – be encouraged and strengthened to “stay in the land God has shown you”…

 

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