“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” -Isaiah 54:2
Everything about this verse speaks of increase, doesn’t it? I see nothing that encourages us to maintain the status quo or get comfortable where we are. In fact, this verse should cause us to enlarge our perspective of God. Some people see God as limiting and controlling, as if His nature is to hold us back. Nothing could be further from the truth.
John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came to give us an abundant, full life. Ephesians 3:20 reminds us that God is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine. And 1 Corinthians 2:9 says, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” And the Apostle Paul isn’t talking about heaven in this passage.
All throughout the Bible, God is calling His people to expand and stretch, to believe for more. God told Abraham, “I’m going to make you the father of many nations…your descendants will be more than the stars in the sky.” That was declared while he and Sarah were barren and childless. God had plans to make Joseph the second in command of the greatest nation on the earth, and he was just a young boy in a desert. God told Esther, “I have some big plans for you.” He didn’t want her to remain some unknown orphan girl living in captivity. God had plans to make her queen over the nation!
I could go on and on about Abraham and David. They weren’t made for obscurity on the backside of a mountain, they were created for authority – to lead God’s people. Or what about Gideon, or Mary, or Peter or John? All of them stretched beyond their comfort zones and were used in ways they never could have imagined. But all of them had to expand their influence – to stretch out in faith – to live a bigger life than they were currently living. All those people had to believe that God was calling them to more, and they had to step out. They didn’t shrink back in fear or hold on to what was comfortable. They got a glimpse of their destiny and they ran after it.
Look at that verse again: “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.” It’s like God is saying, “I can’t fit what I want to do in your life in the space you have now. So I need you to stretch. You’re not thinking BIG enough. You’re not dreaming BIG enough. I need you to make some room for what I want to do in you – and through you!”
Let me ask you. Are you dreaming big enough? When was the last time you believed God for something so big that if someone else heard about it they would think you’re crazy? When was the last time you prayed such bold, audacious prayers that if someone overheard your prayers they would think you seriously lost it?
I’m convinced that how we pray and what we pray for reflects what we believe about God. And we don’t serve a puny, weak God. We serve the God that holds the world in the palm of His hands – a God that can move the mountains because He created them. So I want to challenge you to pray some BIG prayers. Believe God for that “abundant, more than you can imagine” life He has for you. Don’t think small. Don’t pray small. Because we serve a big God.