LENGTHEN YOUR CORDS AND STRENGTHEN YOUR STAKES
“Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes” Isa. 54:2
To continue with our theme scripture for this year (Isa. 54:2); Unlike the Israelites of the day, many of us today have never put up a tent.
Overtime, I have come to learn that when erecting a tent, one needs to ensure that the tent cords are long enough, otherwise, the tent will not spread out, as it should. Also, the stakes are driven firmly into the ground and the tent cords are fastened onto them. If the stakes are not strong enough to hold the tent, it will get carried away by a wind. If the stakes pull out, the tent comes down! To put it simply, in order to make a wide and strong tent, one needs to lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes.
To get the context of Isa. 54, one needs to start from Isa. 53 which is a prophecy of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and His being a Saviour. Even though Jesus did not get a generation that issued from him physically (Isa.53:8), the bible states that because he was offered for our sins, “he shall see his seed” (Isa.54:10). This means that those who believe on Jesus as their Saviour, are his seed, are his children. We’re the children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Through Isa. 54, 55, 56 is a continuing theme of God dealing with and using Gentiles. One of the meanings of the passage, “More are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife,” (Isa.54:1) is that God is going to get more children from the Gentiles than from Israel (the married wife). The Gentiles, who did not bear fruit unto God in the past, are doing so because of their new relationship with Jesus Christ.
LENGTHEN THE CORDS
The church of Jesus Christ is a “tent”. There is no limit to the call of God on us to “enlarge” it. The call is as broad as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which alone, is sufficient to save everybody (Rom. 1:16). It is as broad as the grace of God, which has appeared to all men (Titus 2:11) and it is as broad as the goodness of the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).
That said, this tent can never be broadened by compromising on the Word of God!
STRENGTHEN YOUR STAKES
We are asked not only to “lengthen our cords” but also to “strengthen our stakes“. The reason for this is that if we lengthen our cords, without strengthening our stakes, the first wind that comes along will blow our tent away. Our tent will be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). The wider the tent, the bigger the wind it catches!
The majority of the stake is not seen. It is “rooted” deeply into the ground to hold the tent together but it needs to be strengthened! Likewise, our inner man is not seen but he needs to “be strengthened” (Eph. 3:16-19).
One may ask; “How does one get strengthened in the inner man?” It all starts with letting the Word of God dwell in us richly and allowing it to dictate what we do in life (Col. 3:16). When we are “rooted” in the Word of God, we start to realize our blessings. We become fruitful (Psa. 1:1-3). Even in times of tribulation and persecution, we remain firm (Matt. 13:18-23).
There have been times in the past when we have asked God to “enlarge” us and he hasn’t! I think it is because knew that we were not yet ready for the expansion. His call to us today is this; “I can build the tent as big as you want to build it. I can do boundless works, but you have to strengthen the stakes, you have to lengthen the cords, and then I’ll send the abundant blessings!”
God said to the nation of Israel and is telling us as well, “You are in a tent. It is My tent that holds My people. You should be constantly lengthening and strengthening the tent“. With every opportunity available, we should endeavor to continue preaching the wonderful message of the Salvation found in Jesus. God Bless You.