There is another place in Scripture where a tent stake comes in handy. It is in the form of a story. So, you can read it in Judges chapter 4 for the official impartation of this story...but I want to summarize it for you here. If you are already familiar with the story, or if you are like me and just want to skip to the point because that’s all I got time for... just jump down below for the tie in with tent stakes. This isn’t my usual writing style, but settle in, it’s story time:
There was a time in the relationship between God and his people in which His beloved behaved outside the bounds of his protection. Thus, they existed in a tension of oppression from an opposing nation and putting aside true worship for idol worship. During this climate of disconnect, the Israelites were ruled by king Jabin of Canaan who ruled with a heavy tyrannizing hand. Sisera was the commander of Jabin’s army.
Deborah is one of the many brave badass women that God chose to write his story with. There is another remarkable woman in this story too that I am completely impressed with and am modeling some of my spiritual warfare tactics after.
Deborah was a judge over Israel which meant she spent her days under “Deborah’s Palm” solving disputes and matters of justice for Israel. Scripture says she was also a prophetess. #girlboss
Her heart hurt for her people and it seems she had spent time with the Lord and sensed it was time to make a military move toward freedom from oppression. She called in a trusted military leader and told him exactly what God had instructed them to do. His response was, “If you go with me, I’ll go. But if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
Her reply, “Of course I will go with you. But understand this: with an attitude like that there’ll be no glory in it for you. God will use a woman’s hand to take care of Sisera.” And she wasn’t referring to herself.
To shorten the story, there was divine intervention and Israel had the Canaan’s on the run out of there, but the leader of the army, Sisera, was still running for his life and he hid in a tent that he thought would be a haven. A women that he mistakenly believed to be under his influence.
It was the home of Jael.
She greeted him, “Come in sir. Stay here with me. Don’t be afraid.” … she covered him up with a rug to conceal him and brought him water.
He told her, “Stand at the tent flap. If anyone comes by and ask you, ‘Is anyone in here’ tell him ’No, not a soul.’”
So she waited until he fell asleep under that rug. And this is where it gets real: She grabbed a TENT STAKE and a hammer and officially eliminated the leader of the enemy by driving that sucker through his temple. #badass #enoughsaid********************************************************************
So, a few things that clang in my brain like I am in a belfry of an old church and it is clanging so loudly it vibrates my brain:
- She killed him with a TENT STAKE.
- The head of the enemy entered her home
- She TOOK HIM OUT
- She used what she had in her hands
- She was patient
- She knew God would enable her to be MORE cunning than he was
- She was underestimated
- She was a stay-at-home-mom
- She played along knowing who she was and Whose she was all along
- She wasn’t afraid to step into the battle
- She waited until the fight was hers, her eyes were only on her lane
- When the enemy came into her territory, it became HER battle
- She knew it wasn’t a “stand still and see the victory of the Lord” moment….it was a “fight with what God gave you and let Him show you how strong you are in Him” moment
- She didn’t call the pastor, she didn’t read a book, she didn’t journal about it….she TOOK HIM OUT
- It was a risk, it was scary, it was gorey, it was ugly, it was messy, it wasn’t something she was used to, it wasn’t normal, it wasn’t lady-like, it wasn’t easy. She probably had to do it with her eyes closed. She probably had to coach herself, “Just DO THE THING!”
To tether this to the spiritual discipline I named as “Tent Stakes”, it makes sense to consider the beliefs you decide to anchor yourself to as weapons.
Jesus said, “My Word to you is Spirit and Life” (John 6:63). Spirit in this verse is “Pneuma” in Greek and directly refers to the Spirit as PERSON, the Holy Being. When His Words become the words on our lips, they are inhabited with power. When we tap on the Lord’s heart we tap into these tent stake gifts. This “Word”, when we “St. Benedict” it and insist on its place in our personal economy, we truly HOST the Spirit in active ways. This creates freedom because as we know, “Where the Spirit is there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17). Freedom from fear, anxiety, resentment, irritability, hopelessness...you name it.
So, take the time you need to develop your tent stakes . Reach out to me if you need help with this, please. Envision them as WEAPONS. And use them. Cling to them. Let them hem you in and tuck strength you didn’t know you had into the moments of your day.