Isaiah 54:2 – « Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitation; do not hold back: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. »
We live in a time where the faith of many is put to the test. Recently, in the US and Australia, preachers of great renown have renounced their faith, and even publicly. How is such a tragedy possible? How is it that some, who reach the peak of influence, seem to lose everything after a while?
We can’t enter the hearts of these people to discover the real reasons. We only have what we read in the newspapers. But in the face of these troubles, the exhortation we find in our text is particularly striking.
God asks Jerusalem to strengthen its stakes so that its enlarged « tent » may be firmly anchored in the ground.
This is essential, especially in case of heavy wind and storm. If the stakes are not big enough or not sufficiently buried deep in the ground, the tent will not be able to resist: it will become detached and can even fly away. All it contains will no longer be protected and may be damaged or stolen.
It’s the same in our lives. If we are thirsty to progress with God, here are some stakes that we must strengthen:
1) Our faith or trust in God needs to be anchored in His love, His faithfulness, His righteousness. It is tested when trials and challenges arise and darkness surrounds us. It is there that we remember who our God is, the One who manifests to us His goodness.
2) Our knowledge of the Word of God keeps us and gives us balance: we rely on the truth of His promises and resist the lies of the evil one, who always wants to destroy our lives.
3) Our relationship with God: The more time we spend in His presence, throughout the day, the more we learn to « dwell in Him » and live in His Shalom. We thus draw our strength from the source of life.
4) Fellowship: it is very important because, being members of the same body, we depend on each other and we are complementary. In time spent together, we exhort and encourage each other, living out the life of Christ and growing in the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given us.
I would like to ask you to take time now and pray. These four things represent stakes in lives. Which ones need to be strengthened in your life? Be sensitive to what the Lord shows you; and write down what He asks of you. Because it’s time to grow up.
I also meditated on stability this morning. I am touched by God’s promises about it. He announces to the priest with corrupted and ungodly sons their death, then declares: « I will establish myself a faithful priest, who will act according to my heart and according to my soul, I will build him A STABLE HOUSE, and he will always walk before my anointed. » (1 Sam 2:35) A prophetic verse for a PEOPLE called to be HIS ROYAL PRIESTHOOD (1 Peter 2:9), which God wants to raise up in France! If only this generation hears His call and responds! Solomon deviated from God’s plan and therefore the Lord was apparently ready to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and entrust it to Jeroboam, for He said to the latter, « If you obey all that I command you, if you walk in my ways and do what is right in my eyes, observing my laws and my commandments, as David, my servant, did, I will be with you, I will build you a STABLE HOUSE, like I built one for David, and I will give you Israel. (1 Kings 11:38) Let’s not forfeit our heavenly calling by neglecting these 4 issues!