Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Moving Our Tent Pegs" by Garris Elkins


Recently, the Lord spoke to my heart and said,

This is a time for expansion. I am about to move My people into a new experience with My presence. I need them to be mobile and ready to move with Me. The tent of My presence is expanding. Pull up the tent pegs that lie before you, but leave the tent pegs of your history intact. My expansion plan includes both your past and your future. Look ahead. Get ready. Expect movement. Expansion in all things is upon you.

When our family went camping during my childhood, I remember watching my father putting up our old Army-surplus tent at the family campsite. It was one of those World War II surplus canvas tents that smelled like oil when the hot July sun would beat down upon it for hours during the midday heat. We had lots of fun watching my dad, and listening to his comments about the tent, as he struggled to put it up. Our tent had wooden pegs that anchored us to the earth during our camping adventures. Our family tent was stationary and immovable once dad was finished with the assembly process.

We are in a time of Church history when God is asking us to pull up the tent pegs that are in front of us. These tent pegs of thinking keep us stationary and immovable. What is good for a camping tent is not good for a believer. God desires to extend the capacity of our thinking to reflect the expanding greatness of His heart. Pulling up our mental tent pegs keeps us mobile and moving forward into the destiny God has designed for each of us.

Our calling and God’s Kingdom are never stationary. As we pull up the tent pegs of a limited and stationary way of thinking, and walk into our unfolding future, we need to leave the tents pegs of our history intact. These tent pegs are the ones behind us. History is important because it tells us where we have camped previously. God does not lead us forward by living in our history – He uses our history to teach us how to live in our future. We learn from our history.

There are some things that can keep us immovable:

Immovable lives are camped in places of fear.

In the past some have experienced failure and now live in the fear of a future failure. This fear has them camped in an immovable place. They live weighted down by ungodly vows that declare they will never go that way again.

Often unconsciously, and on occasion noticeably, I have recognized part of my heart was camped in a place of fear. I was stuck in a memory of failure and the fear of repeating that failure. It is a gift of grace from Jesus to help us recognize this kind of blockage to mobility and expansion. Mobility comes when we are able to see what we have done and then renounce the vows we made in fear and allow God to move us forward.

              Immovable lives are camped in the past.

Some of us are realizing that the productive methods we used in the past are no longer working today. What was once fresh revelation is no longer fresh because it does not draw on faith.

Sometimes, I have found myself immovable because I have camped in methods that worked well in the past. They were comfortable to me because they were familiar. Some of us have found ourselves relying on methods that worked in seasons past more than seeking something new from God that requires a new equipping for a new out-pouring. God is doing a new work that will require steps of faith into uncharted territory.

             Immovable lives are camped in familiar places.

The immovability of sameness has come upon some of us. Where we were once were fresh and innovative some have succumbed to the familiar.

In the past, when I have not been movable and expanding, I found myself trying to fit in to the group at the expense of being a truly unique creation of God. This kind of immovability is a fear of appearing different and allowing the group to dictate our identity. We can miss out on the fresh and innovative expansion of God’s Kingdom if we live in the fear of being different. Our anointing for ministry is found in our uniqueness. Our differences reflect the creative heart of God and should be celebrated.

Unlike the tent my father used to put up each summer, that only stayed in one spot and remained the same size, the tent of God’s presence is always expanding forward upon the earth and is increasing in its capacity. God is inviting us to join Him in that forward expansion.

Leave the tent pegs of your history intact: they are important because they tell a story. Undo the tent pegs that are in front of you – this is where your future expansion will take place. Walk into a new way of thinking and living that comes from allowing God to expand you forward. There is something new God wants to do in each of us. What God is about to do exists in our future, ahead of us in that unexplored supernatural campground called the Kingdom of God.

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