Tents, Camps, Vocation vs Buildings, Cities, and Kingdoms. It’s all about timing, perspective, location, and calling isn’t it?
As I looked at scripture this morning, my mind broadened a bit. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” But then continues… “we would prefer to be… at home with the Lord”. The context of 2 Corinthians 5 is about tents and buildings. v1 says If our earthly tent is destroyed… we have a building… eternal dwelling in the heavens not made with hands. Indeed, we groan in this tent desiring to put on the heavenly. Oh, I can relate. I like the idea of camping – but I don’t like sleeping on the ground, and I like plumbing, and so much more – but I can’t build a house at every place I want to go, so sometimes a tent is the only way. And yet we groan – stenazo = sigh — Can you relate? I can. v4 indeed we groan while in this tent, burdened… v5 now the one who prepared us for this purpose is God. There is a purpose for the tent and its about the place where we are.
We know Abraham left home and went to the place of promise, and he lived in tents, his entire life. Hebrews 11:8 says he was called, obeyed, and set out for a place – (how?) by Faith. v9 by faith he stayed as a foreigner… living in tents – He was a camp dweller who knew that a city was coming, but NOT for him to build. No, it would have God as architect and builder.
So, Paul says in our 2 Corinthians text that we have tents but a building is for later, and the writer of Hebrews says we have camps, but cities are coming. Then in Hebrews 13:14 it broadens the understanding to us “city dwellers” and says we do not have an enduring city here, but one is to come. Hmmm I see a pattern developing in my thought process driven by these parallel scriptures.
Then Peter writes in 2 Peter 1 – that God’s divine power has given us all that we need for life and godliness and that we must let him grow us from faith to goodness… knowledge… self-control… endurance… godliness… brotherly affection… and love – Why? Because we are camping in tents, living away from home, on a purpose driven mission. Then 2 Peter 1:9 says the one who lacks these things is short sighted v10 therefore… confirm your calling and election – v11 … entry into an eternal Kingdom is provided … and Peter says in v13 I Think it is RIGHT, as long as I am in this bodily TENT to WAKE YOU UP with a reminder ….
WOW – there is a reminder here folks. And if I could gently say for some of our brothers and sisters who long for “prosperity and perfection” in THIS life, you need to spend a weekend TENT CAMPING – cause this is NOT Heaven. We are on a purposeful mission – be as comfortable as you can be, but
Tents here – Buildings there > Camps here – City there > Vocation here – Kingdom there –
Tents, Camps, Vocation
Yes, there will be some sighing and groaning here, but that’s just part of camping. And there will be hard work, but that’s just tent-dwelling. Of course there will be some beautiful vistas, sunrises, sunsets, and some nice fish caught, but we’re just camping.
So then back in 2 Corinthians 5:14 Paul says the love of Christ compels us. One died for all v15 so that those who live should not longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them. So v16 we don’t know them from a worldly perspective… We are participating in New Creation business 5:17. The Ministry of Reconciliation is our business.
Tent dwellers, looking for a city, Kingdom citizens – 2 Peter 1:19 says, Pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place – until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts