Step out of your tent!
Recently while teaching my mid-week study, we read and talked about the beauty and intentionality of God’s interaction with a man named Abram (later to become Abraham). We marveled at how as the Lord began to call Abram’s name, He did so with great gentleness and sensitivity. His plan for this man was immense and prolific, yet, God did not give him vivid details upfront. Instead, the Almighty gave Him his promises in ever-increasing clarity to prevent overwhelming the aged desert dweller.
The Bible tells us that God’s strength is manifested in our weakness; that His glorious abilities are highlighted in our inabilities. So, is it any wonder that the Creator would hand-select an infertile geriatric couple to begin an entire nation – a special people belonging to Himself?
To bring His plan into focus and begin unraveling Abram’s destiny, God took him on a very short fieldtrip. Genesis 15:5 tells us that, “He (God) took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Talk about a ‘wow’ moment! And instead of turning God’s divine objective into Swiss cheese, the Word tells us Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord credited it to him as righteousness.
What stuck heavily with me was this simple observation. There are things that God wants to show us and teach us, but we have to be willing to leave the tent. In other words, Abram couldn’t see the Lord’s plan and picture in his pop-up!
Throughout Scripture, Abraham never built a proper house for himself. Though he was a man of immense acquired wealth, he and Sarah always lived in tents. He spent a lot of time in them. Yet, it wasn’t until he stepped outside of his comfortable dwelling that he recognized God’s enormous plan for his life. The Lord had a big exciting picture for him he couldn’t see from within his tent.
Too often we in the Body of Christ settle for tent-living. When we first meet Jesus and experience the radical life He led and offers, the earth trembles, the walls fall, and the prison bars are open. Initially we live radically for the King of Kings. Yet, sadly, what was once a pacing lion oftentimes becomes a slumbering house cat. The fire in our belly slowly smolders and we are satisfied to warm ourselves with last night’s fading embers. We become domesticated. A purr replaces a roar. We gravitate spiritually to comfy and routine. We trade adventure for religion. We lose our first love, and hell no longer fears us. Simply put, we’re happy, secure, and settled inside our tents. We look up and we see safety – not stars – and we settle for safety!
At FCC we have designated 2011 as our year of ‘GO’ – a contagious revolution of motion. Collectively we realize that we can not discover and experience God’s plan and adventure for us until we courageously leave the tent. This means risk, discomfort, and faith-stretching. This means trying new things, experimenting, and being willing to fail.
Whoever you are and wherever you live and worship, please consider joining us in this endeavor to move, reach, touch and bless countless lives for Jesus Christ.
Want to experience God’s unmistakable voice and thrilling plan for your life again?
Step out of your tent!