Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Reality of Tent Living..

One of my family’s favorite adventures to have is tent camping, and let me tell you it is always an adventure. We just love to get out in the woods where it is quite and peaceful, free from TV’s, computers, cell phones, and all the other devices in life that take up our time and attention. Once we find our perfect spot, we pitch our family tent, set up our kitchen for cooking, prepare the fire pit and set out the chairs. We are now ready for a day or two of fun, storytelling, and togetherness. Did you see the part where I mentioned a day or two? That is because, that’s as long as we can bare. After that it is time to pack up and come home to our comfy beds, clean showers, and favorite TV shows. The past two times we have tent camped we have had to endure horrible rain storms and had to spend most of our time inside the tent where the water was coming in on us, and made for very uncomfortable conditions.

TENT by definition is a portable or temporary dwelling. A tent is not meant to remain in one spot and be a permanent place to live. They are designed to be easily set up for shelter and easily broke down to move to another place. If we look at God’s story He has some interesting insight for us on tent living. Moses was leading the Israelites, and for 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. God commanded Moses to build a tabernacle to symbolize His kingdom on earth, in order that God could live in the midst of His people. At the time of the old covenant the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit had not yet occurred. God is clearly showing us here what He is doing. He wishes to dwell within His people.

“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you.” Exodus 24:8-9

Tabernacle literally means: ‘Tent to live in’. God is saying, “I want to live in your tent.” “I want to dwell with you.” Another interesting thing I see is His careful instruction to build this tent and furnish it exactly according to the pattern He shows us. If we take the time and look closely at God’s story and how if plays out, we will see a pattern and we are instructed to build our lives and furnish it according to what He has shown us. The Israelites built the Tabernacle and God dwelt among them. But, today we are living in a new covenant. The Tabernacle was temporary, now God no longer lives in a tent of materiel or a building of mortar and stone, but in the man who by faith has surrendered himself or herself to God.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Our very physical bodies are a tent for the dwelling of the Holy Spirit. They are temporary, vessels for God to use and work in this world. Our tents may have holes and leaks, and we may get wet at times. But, just like our family camping trip, although our tent was leaking we had sweet fellowship inside because of what was dwelling there. The tabernacle forms a pattern (or model) for us, in the new covenant. The true Christian is the tent where the Spirit of God dwells. It is good for us to take to heart the spiritual lessons this Tabernacle (tent) holds for us, so that we can gain greater understanding of the will of an amazing God. We now form a spiritual building where God’s Spirit wants to live and move and work in all His fullness.
What is dwelling in your tent?


Karen Hammons said...

Another great one Kristin! I love what God has you share with us!! You are an awesome writer!!!

Love ya!

george.spehar said...

God speaks so greatly through you. I love you.

Jennifer said...

I am sooo happy you are writing again... Thank you always "pointing up" and always directing me to look up... love ya