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Enlarge the Tent - Monday, April 30th, 2007

“Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.”
Isaiah 54:2-3

It was just yesterday when I began explaining to my wife Laura that something drastically has been missing in my life over these past 22 days. But what? Well, as I began thinking about things, I realized that I haven’t been doing what I was doing prior to the TENT being pitched on the vacant land. I was persistent with the same prayer day in and day out during the pre-40. But now I wasn’t. Some of you might be thinking, “You don’t need to say the same prayer over and over.” To which I agree. However, as I did a simple prayer consistently, I was able to give my prayer life a focus. The same simple prayer allowed me to have some direction. It forced me to stay disciplined. And many times, this is what people of prayer are known for (maybe not saying the same style of prayer) …commitment. So as I was talking things over with Laura, I expressed to her that I wanted to have a “regular” prayer for the remaining 18 days. But what? So I began to ask the Lord for direction. And what do you know, the Lord has already provided verses to be used as a prayer for my own life. Even more so, these passages have already helped me stay on target throughout this morning. Isaiah 54:2-3 says, “Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left. And your descendants will possess nations and will resettle the desolate cities.”

These verses are a perfect fit because let me state the obvious ~ it talks about a tent. Sometimes I need the obvious. It is where I can find encouragement. It is where I can find direction. Specifically in this context, the Lord is speaking to the Israelites. And as a barren nation, the Lord was encouraging His people to “enlarge the family tent.” The words – enlarge, stretch, lengthen, and strengthen are active words for His people. It is time for growth. And soon His people will be beyond measure. Innumerable. Look at Genesis 28:14, “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” God is saying, “My people will increase, just as He promised to Abraham.” But they mustn’t just sit there, no…the women of Israel were to prepare for a larger family with urgency and exuberance. Not as they did in Jeremiah 10:20 where it says, “My tent is destroyed, and all my ropes are broken; my sons have gone from me and are no more. There is no one to stretch out my tent again or to set up my curtains.” No, God wants each of us to pursue after Him; regardless if we were the Israelites of the Old Testament or the Gentiles of the New Testament (that’s us). Because in His faithfulness, I believe God will respond.

Therefore, please join me in praying each and every day…

Oh Lord,
“Enlarge the place of (our) tent” here;
Stretch out the curtains of (our) dwellings, spare not;
Lengthen (our) cords and
Strengthen (our) pegs.

For (we) will spread abroad to the right and to the left.
And (our) descendants will possess nations and
will resettle the desolate cities.”

In Jesus Name,
Amen.

When looking at theses verses, I immediately thought of the committed missionary William Carey. This was his theme verse for his life. It was his approach to making a difference for Jesus. Therefore, when referring to these two passages, Carey said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God." Isn’t this the truth? God talks about the role we each must play in life, but it also talks about God’s faithful response to our obedient actions. Or as a man once said, “In life, it is 100% God and 100% man.” We are to press on and pursue God; yet the results are up to God. Isn’t this the truth?

Imagine if we would come before God with expectation and ask Him to actively work through our lives, through our families, through our communities, through our cities, through our nations, and throughout the world. Would we believe that revival is coming? The only way to find out is to pursue God and love others. Then God (in His timing and will) can reveal Himself not only because of our prayers but also because of our actions.
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan