Build a tent

The Creator of everything made you for a reason. He has given us desires and dreams, and he wants us to use those. Sometimes he explicitly tells us what we need to do and other times he lets us figure out what we should do. But in either instance God still gives us the ability to set the limits on what we do.

Barak

Deborah was appointed judge over Israel. During this time the Canaanites were invading Israel. God had chosen a man to lead the army of Israel into battle, and he told Deborah who it was. The man’s name was Barak. Now upon hearing this I’m sure that Barak was down right scared out of his wits, and instead of solely trusting in God, Barak told Deborah that he wouldn’t go into battle without her. The consequence of this decision was that Barak would not have the opportunity to have victory, but that it would be passed to someone else. God had this awesome plan for Barak, but Barak couldn’t see it. Because he didn’t see it he didn’t trust God and therefore lost out on the fullness of God’s plan. (Judges 4)

Paul

After his conversion he became one of the biggest evangelists in the known world. All he had at times was his faith in God and God’s provision. Paul didn’t have limits on what he believed God could do. He was bit by a poisonous snake, ship wrecked, under house arrest*, and on death row, yet his ministry grew and grew. He continued to trust God and have faith that God would work through everything that happened. Paul took the opportunities that he was given to tell people about the amazing Creator and his son Jesus. (Acts 28:1-6, Acts 27:39-44)

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” (Isaiah 54:2)

On my first Sunday in Lyon this was one of the verses being read, and a thought came to mind when I read it. God has placed certain things on my heart to do, not specific things necessarily, but dreams and desires. With these things he has placed there, I can choose what to do with them. They can be small ideas or a big one. It can be as simple as me wanting to have coffee with people. So, I go to God and say, “God, this is what I want to do.” And the question he will have for me is, “How big will you build your tent?”

So many times I think we limit ourselves (I am my worst critic.) God has bigger plans than we ourselves can comprehend, but we sometimes put ourselves down and think that we are too “small” to really do anything. God views us as little bundles of potential. He gives us all the equipment needed to build our “tents”. He is our biggest fan, cheering us on, and wanting us to succeed. He’s the one who tells us to dream bigger.

Now, the likely chances of me leading an army into a physical battle is very slim, but there is a war going on all around us, and we all play a part in it. And what we think as small and insignificant is actually very important and necessary. God can always use us; we are all important and valuable to him.

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Psalm 37:5

(Philippians 4:13)

(Mark 10:27)

(Galatians 3:26)

As children of God we should not put ourselves down. He is the Creator and in every one of us he has created a desire in our hearts. But he leaves it up to us to decide how big we want to build our tent. He has the basic plan in place, and he wants us to dream big. He wants to provide for us, he wants us to trust him. Being in France has shown me that he will always provide. He will give us everything we need to succeed and exceed the plan.

So, there are two questions that you need to ask. What is it that I feel God calling me to do? And how big do I want to build my tent? Never settle because you think you are not good enough, or important enough, because you were created with a unique purpose. Never forget that you have the best person on your side to help you complete the purpose you have been prepared for.

Now it’s your time. Start building your tent.
(Ephesians 2:10)

 

 

*4 of Paul’s letters are believed to have been written while he was under house arrest: Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, and Philippians.
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