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Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 2 : Follow Me | Day 8

Have a Tent Mind-Set!

Welcome to our second week of meditation! In order to live out Christ's second command, we must comprehend the rich insights of a "tent mind-set."

Command Two: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

Those who heard the call to follow Jesus understood that it meant forsaking their way of life and being trained by Him as a disciple.

This is consistent with God's call to Abraham. Abraham was told to leave his land, kindred, and father's house and follow the Lord to a land of promise. In the process, he learned the mind-set of a tent-dweller. When Abraham's descendants went down to Egypt (symbolic of the world), they lost their tent perspective. Soon the pressure of their bondage caused them to cry out to God for deliverance.

God brought them "out of the house of bondage” (see Deuteronomy 13:5) and restored their perspective of tent dwelling in the wilderness. God also lived with them in a tent (the Tabernacle) and had them look to heaven for their daily bread and daily direction. In the land of promise they lived in goodly houses, but God warned them never to lose their tent mind-set. So, He established an annual feast in which they would live in a tent for one week and be reminded of their total dependence upon God. (See Leviticus 23:34.)

A tent mind-set is realizing that this world is not our home and that we are on a holy pursuit of God's kingdom with total dependence on Him as "strangers and pilgrims."

Peter speaks of this mind-set as a powerful basis for conquering lust: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (I Peter 2:11).

A tent mind-set helps us lay aside temporal things and see the value in eternal things, such as discipling others. Therefore, when a would-be follower of Jesus volunteered his services, Jesus immediately focused on his need for a tent mind-set by saying, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). There is nothing wrong with living in a house as long as we don't lose a tent mind-set and view our home as a temporary base from which to fulfill the Great Commission.

“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard