What is in Your Tent?

Is your tent a museum of past failures and disappointments. or is it filled with living reminders of the goodness of the Lord.

Ruth and I visited a castle/museum in Ghent, Belgium and left feeling somehow depressed and anxious.

We had gone to Belgium along with our 14 year old granddaughter, Hannah, daughter of our oldest daughter Gwen and her husband Chauncey Martin  to visit our son Vaughn, his wife Ilona and their three daughters Elisa, 14; Ruby, 12; and Julie, 7.

On Monday, January 2nd, we went to Ghent and toured a castle built in the middle ages. The castle has now been turned into a museum of the torture items used in the Spanish Inquisition.  During that time Christians tortured and killed other Christians. It was truly a dark time in our history. We came out of the castle distressed with all we had seen and grateful that we did not live in those dark ages.

But somehow remembering all the evil that had occurred made us more sensitive to the evil that is occurring  in our world today. We say we are glad things are better now in comparison to the Dark Ages but our prophets are predicting  new dark ages.  Some are saying that our economy will completely collapse in 2012 and that there will be violence in the streets in places that had previously been secure.   So, where shall we turn and how shall we position ourselves for the darkness ahead?

I was encouraged this morning by the Holy Spirit through a word from scripture.  In I Samuel 17: 54 we read that after David had killed Goliath, “David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, and he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.” 

These weapons were a constant and daily reminder to David of the Lord’s faithfulness.  David could go into his tent and see and remember all that the Lord had done for him.

Imagine with me what else David may have had in his tent. Possibly he had a bear skin rug and a lion skin rug. Possibly he had the five stones he had chosen from the brook as he prepared to kill Goliath.

Maybe in the evenings before he confronted Goliath,  David recalled the history of the people of God. He recalled how as the flooded Jordan river parted and the Israelites entered the promised land through a dry river bed, God had instructed them to choose twelve stones from the river bed and carry them into the Promised Land as a reminder of God’s faithfulness.  Maybe as David thought of challenging Goliath he thought again of those stones. And he then thought , “I need me some stones”. So he goes and chooses five stones; and as he handles those stones he can just see Goliath’s name written all over that one stone. And suddenly he begins to pray and praise the Lord as a “giant killing anointing” comes upon him.

After the victory over Goliath, imagine David sitting in his tent. He would rub his feet on the bear skin rug, gaze at the armor of the defeated Goliath and roll those stones in his hands. He would recall that he himself was the greatest trophy of the grace of God. Then David would remember and remember and he would shout and praise the Lord. And so David would become a full time worshiper and and a part time warrior. (inspired by an article by Bill Yount)

We may go to a museum on rare occasions, some more frequently but few of us live in a museum. We need daily reminders of the faithfulness of the Lord to get us through the gathering storm.

What is in your tent?  Is your tent a  museum of past failures and disappointments or is it filled with living reminders of the goodness of the Lord.

I do believe that God gives us the Holy Communion as a daily reminder of his faithfulness. “As you take this bread, remember how much I love you. I loved you enough to die for you. Eat this bread and remember and celebrate my love.”

“And this cup is the new covenant in my blood. Drink this cup and remember and celebrate all that I have given you for the living of this day. All that I have is yours. I give you my strength, my Spirit. I give you my garments of righteousness. I give you my sword, the sword of my spirit which is the word of God.

So turn your tent into a cathedral of remembering and of worship and praise, 24/7, and then in your left over time go out and do mighty exploits in your family and in your work place in the strong name of Jesus!

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