(Post submitted by Paul O’Rourke)
Healthy things grow. In Isaiah 54, the prophet uses the everyday example of a campsite to explain to the people of Israel how, with God’s help, they will grow and expand.
The same principles apply to our church, our families, our marriages. Jesus said in John 10:10b that he came to give us life, “life to the max.” Part A of this verse says the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, to keep us small, contained, fearful and ineffectual. To hide and survive.
Isaiah tells them to get a bigger tent, one that covers more ground. The old tent, old mindset, old ways and fears won’t do. They hold us back and down.
He tells them to think big and make room.
Next he says they should lengthen their cords AND strengthen their stakes. To lengthen the cords for a bigger tent without strengthening the stakes, means the tent will fall over at the first stiff breeze. The pegs must go deeper into the ground.
We too, must go deeper if we want to go further. That’s why prayer, fasting, worship and commitment to a church fellowship are so vital. By adding these crucial habits to our days, we multiply our growth exponentially over time. Otherwise, like the “barren woman” mentioned at the start of the chapter, our growth will be limited.
The promise for us as a church, a family, is that when we trust in God, we will take ground, our children’s children dispossessing nations and settling in their desolate cities.
The final reassurance (vs 4) is that we will not suffer shame or humiliation; we will forget our past failures that have made us reluctant to think big.
Lord, help me to enlarge my capacity. Help me grow deeper roots into your soil so that I am firmly planted, withstanding any storm that comes my way. Make my life fruitful in every area. Expand my influence. Stretch me to become the person you intend for me to be so that every plan you have for my life comes to pass. In Jesus’ name, Amen.