Opening Scripture: Isaiah 54:2-3
Spiritual Growth Challenge: Recognize Shame and Familiarity
Spiritual Growth - The Word, Worship, Prayer, Living Generously
“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.”
Looking at this verse,“Enlargement” is an encouragement, but more than that, a command to think big, dream big, and get a bigger perspective.
When a black dot is put on a screen, the spot always becomes the focus. Rather than the big white screen that is overwhelming greater, we notice the issue. We need to make God bigger. We need to focus on the “Enlargement of our God!"
God is greater than our:
or whatever it is we are dealing with.
“Stretch your tent curtains wide”
In what do we place our hope? “Stretching” involves getting past our current limits (“I press on…” says Paul). The greater the stretching, the farther the launching. (Pumpkin Launching")
“Do not hold back”involves overcoming fear. There are times when we need to do things that make us afraid and break the hold fear has over us.
“Expect Great Things from God;Attempt Great things for God.” William Carey
“Lengthen your cords” is to go further in output and effort. Going the extra mile is extra, not ordinary.
“Strengthen your stakes," stakes represent markings of specific things. In the Bible, they would use stones. When Joshua broughtIsrael into the promised land, 12 men were commanded to grab large rocks out of the river and build an altar.
4 When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, 3 and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.’” 4 Then Joshua called the twelve men from the people of Israel, whom he had appointed, a man from each tribe. 5 And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, 6 that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come,‘What do those stones mean to you?’ 7 then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people ofIsrael a memorial forever.”
The Bible lays out these 5 things in verse 2 because He knows the outcome in verse 3.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle int heir desolate cities.”
Notice it doesn’t say “then you will,” it says, “For you will.” God says, “It’s Coming!”