Temporary Tents but a Permanent Presence

by Nicki Koziarz July 17, 2023
"And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst." Exodus 25:8 (ESV)

A few summers ago, my husband, Kris, and I had a church reach out to us about hosting their Sunday church service on our farm for a few weeks while they found somewhere new to meet.

We jumped in with excitement to help this church however we could.

Kris found a large outdoor tent for them to meet under while the summer sun was at its hottest. It took an army of people to set up the tent, but once it was up, it felt like it had a purpose beyond just giving some shade on Sunday mornings.

At the time, I was studying Moses and the tent that changed everything for him and the Israelites when God commanded, “let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst” (Exodus 25:8).

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, the first sanctuary, they lost a lot, including the presence of God (Genesis 3). So Moses’ story is one of deliverance but also one of redemption — because this was a fulfillment of God’s promise to bring back His presence to His people.

In Exodus 26, we see the initial instructions for the tabernacle, a tent structure that would be the dwelling place of God and would move locations multiple times with God's people. The tent was the center of worship and was the place where Moses would meet God face to face (Exodus 33:11).

The tabernacle is full of symbolism — all pointing to Jesus. Today, because of Jesus, who is “God with us” (Matthew 1:23), we can enter God's presence no matter what building or structure we happen to be in.

When we surrender our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit goes everywhere with us. We don’t have to wait to be in a tent to meet with God.

Our cars, office spaces and homes — any place — can be a sanctuary. Because what we do in those spaces is what can change everything for us in just a moment. Wherever we seek God, He will be there. So we can either look around us and just see ordinary spaces … or we can see holy places where we can meet with Him.

When Moses met with God in the tent, he received wisdom, instruction and encouragement. I’ve never had a day pass that I didn’t need those things. Thankfully, God offers wisdom to all who ask Him for it (James 1:5), and His Word assures us: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you” (James 4:8a, ESV).

Eventually, the church that was meeting on my family farm found a permanent place to meet, and the tent came down. Church on the farm was finished, and that season came to an end.

But because the tent was up for about five weeks, the grass beneath it died. At first, I kind of thought it was an eyesore — but then I realized that dead area of grass was a reminder: Something holy happened here. Don’t forget.

Church on the farm was temporary, just like the tabernacle Moses built. But as we study the tabernacle tent, it reminds us likewise that something holy happened there.

The presence of God is permanent, and wherever we go, He goes. But may we remember that it’s up to us to move through the ordinary places of our lives with the awareness that God is with us. This is holy ground. God is here.

Thank You, God, that because of the cross, we can enjoy Your presence with us wherever we go. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Between what was and what will be, there is still good to be found. If you need help believing this is true for your life, we want to invite you to our next free Online Bible Study … Your New Now: 30 Days To Make Sense of Where You Are and Where You’re Going. Click here to sign up today and join our study of Nicki Koziarz’s book Your New Now starting July 17!





Nicki’s favorite place to connect and encourage others online is on Instagram. Join her there @NickiKoziarz!


2 Corinthians 6:16, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, ‘I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’” (ESV).

Where is your favorite place to meet with God? Do you struggle to meet with God outside of that place? How can you stretch yourself to meet with God wherever you need to?

The best way to keep this conversation going is to share your thoughts in the comments! We always look forward to hearing what God is teaching you.

© 2023 by Nicki Koziarz. All rights reserved.

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