In this life, we live in tents in anticipation of our eventual homes in heaven and glorified bodies for eternity. For some, this promise brings a smile because they long to be free of physical impairment. For all, we can look forward to being free from the struggle of flesh.
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.
From today’s reading, I am struck with the temporary nature of our time on earth. James says our lives are vapour or mist which appears for a while (James 4:14). Our bodies, Peter says, are tents. These are temporary earthen vessels until we are granted the glorified bodies which are promised to us on Romans 8:23.
Our souls are redeemed and our flesh still carries the sin nature which does battle within us (Galatians 5:16-18). Which explains our predicament. If our bodies are mere tents until we get to heaven, why do we struggle so much with the reality of sin on this earth? It is because those tents are the legacy of our fallen nature and they are staked to the ground of this fallen earth which keeps us from moving heavenward.
It seems like our refining from creatures of self and our own ways into creatures of godly habit is a slow process. We take one step forward and two steps back. This isn’t just a saying, it is our reality.
Peter will soon give up his tent – he will lay it aside in favour of his real and true home and a new body therein. He is telling us that he is heavenward. This will be the answer for Peter, yet for most of us, death is not the answer to our struggle in the tent of our bodies.
We must learn to walk by the Spirit. It doesn’t matter how many times I hear that lesson, it seems new every time. So often I get living my life and I forget to have that conversation with the Spirit before I act, or speak, or even think and plan. The Spirit is our guide as we live in these tents.
Oh God, speak to me by your Spirit today,
And get my thinking and doing lined up,
With the being that I have been granted,
By faith in Jesus.