God is calling us to continually and constantly expand, and this recommendation is more like a command than like a simple piece of advice: « Extend the space of your tent; … », « Lengthen your cords … « ! The Apostle Peter writes in one of his epistles: « I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder…« (2 Peter 1:13). It is clear that He is saying that each of us is this tent that aims to expand its space and lengthen its cords. But while it’s about lengthening our ropes, it is also about strengthening our stakes. A tent that is being enlarged whose ropes are not firmly anchored in the ground to the help of the stakes will not withstand the wind for a long time, especially when the force of the gale doubles in intensity.
One of the critical areas that requires expansion on our part is undeniably our growth, both personal and spiritual. Without deep intimacy with the Lord, assisted by the Holy Spirit, the storm of a trial will have no trouble sweeping away our sand foundation. The time has come to search God with all our heart and all our strength as if our life depended on it… and it does depend on it, actually! « As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul longs after you, O God!» (Psalms 42:2) This deer is longing for this water because if it does not find it, it will perish! It is this level, and nothing less, that our desire to know God must attain. This is an exciting adventure, motivated by love, that has nothing to do with being of a religious. This heart-to-heart exchange with our Beloved, through prayer and through being saturated by His Word, requires a strong daily discipline, essential to our development if we want to grow continuously without a yoyo effect, (always up and down) by building our lives on solid foundations.
It should be noted that God places upon us the responsibility to widen the space, lengthen the ropes and to strengthen the stakes. In other words, it is up to us to create space and time for Him, time which will always remain indispensable for a profound transformation. God will occupy this space by blowing the wind of His Spirit, who will give shape and density to the tent. The culture of His presence makes a difference. The revelation of His heart, His teachings, His instructions and His touch transform us day by day and fill us with deep peace and full assurance. So the branch, motivated only by love, in the middle of the refiner’s fire, pruned and purified of what weighs it down unnecessarily, stripped and full of authenticity, bears fruit that abounds in thanksgiving and in good deeds.
Are we ready to rearrange our priorities and pay the price of time to dive into deep waters with the living and true God in order to taste more of heavenly things? If so, then today, let us review our priorities to definitively give first place to the Lord, without postponing this resolution until tomorrow: today and now, it’s time for change.
On the subject of our personal spiritual growth, I find this passage quite significant : « Therefore, ridding yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind, like newborn babies, CRAVE pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may GROW UP in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. » Part of fasting involves cravings … so the Lord is using this time to stir up once again a desperate hunger to FEAST on His Word as never before! Let us delight in the purity and power of His truth today.