I’m not much for camping out. I prefer my lumpy mattress to the hard ground. I feel much more at ease in my climate controlled bedroom than a nylon tent. My idea of “roughing it” is a hotel with no wireless internet connection.
That being said, tents played an important role in Old Testament times. One of my favorite cases in found in Ex. 33:7-11. As Moses led the Hebrews through the Wilderness, they set up camp for a short time at various locations. When they would set up camp, Moses would set up a tent far off from the camp that they called the “tent of meeting.”
Anyone who wanted to pray could get alone and meet with God. The Bible tells them that when Moses went into the tent, the cloud representing God’s presence would engulf the tent. When the people saw the presence of God come upon Moses and the tent, they would “rise up and worship, each at his tent door.”
Pitching your own tent
I think it’s past time for you and me to have something like a tent of meeting in our lives. We need a place to get alone with God and let Him speak to us.
The tent was outside of the camp. Far off from the camp. We need a place removed from the daily hustle and bustle of life to get alone with God.
Maybe your place could be a back porch or sun room. Perhaps you could repurpose an empty or seldom used room in your home into a meeting place. You may even have to leave your home altogether to find a place without home’s distractions. Sometimes my tent of meeting is walking circles around my neighborhood in the cool of pre-dawn.
In this tent of meeting we can read God’s Word and listen attentively as He speaks through it. While meeting with God we can pour out our hearts to Him, declaring our dependence on Him. We can intercede with God on behalf of others as well as make our own petitions know to Him.
Why don’t we camp out with God?
Many of us miss out on meeting with God because we refuse to get “outside the camp.” First thing every morning we default to our gadgets and our routine and leave no room for meeting with God.
Sometimes our schedules get away from us and we fail to earmark the time. Maybe we think we are too busy to devote time to God. What we learn is that God whispers to us, but life screams at us. We try to quiet the scream and miss the whisper. In a quiet place, a tent of meeting, we can hear the whisper.
So I encourage you to do what is necessary to get alone with God. Maybe you don’t need an actual tent, or maybe you do. But find a place, a quiet, undistracted place, and ask God to engulf you with the glory of His presence.
What will serve as YOUR tent of meeting?
A native of Sandersville, Jim Duggan, a graduate of Mercer University and Southeastern Seminary, serves as pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Macon. Since being called to pastor in 1986, he has served Georgia churches in Coopers, Cadwell, Riverdale, Hoschton, and Ty Ty. He regularly blogs at JimDuggan.org.