Tallest Poles in the Tent

3569583_origWhenever someone is holding up a process, progress or production, the phrase “You are the tallest pole in the tent” is utilized to identify the negative positioning of that person. One of my coworkers used it on himself when describing how he was slowing the progress of one of our products. What’s significant about him acknowledging that he was the “tallest pole” is the fact that he was taking ownership of the matter.

That phrase also reminds me of the GP medium tents that we had in the Army. We mostly utilized GP mediums when we had to conduct field operations. The GP mediums were big tents and required a minimum of three people to set them up (though it can be done with two skilled individuals). There is only one tall pole in most regular tents but in a GP medium there are two tall tent poles. There are also smaller poles that assist with holding up the sides of the tent and create doorways. No matter the number of small poles, the tallest poles are most significant. Those two tall poles hold the tent up firmly.

That phrase is also similar to people getting in the way of their blessings from God. As seen throughout the bible there are many individuals who were in their own way and this is one of the reasons why God sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus is the Way that guides us out of our own ways, out of darkness and into His saving grace. Unfortunately, there are many individuals who think they have it all figured out and their religiosity does not align with the Almighty Father. Just like there are two tall poles in GP medium tents that are mostly responsible for holding the tents up, many people have tag teamed with Satan to hold up their progress in life.

In the New Testament, Christ Jesus highlights this best as He informs the Jews that their actions are painting an ungodly picture of themselves. He was informing them that Satan was the other tall pole in their tents. Satan loves holding up progression of the Lord’s children if they allow him to do it.

mindonjesusJesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” – John 8:42-47

Satan was the tallest pole in the tent when he was in heaven. He was trying to hold up progress because of his pride. He figured that his way was better than the Almighty Father’s Way but he soon found out the consequences of creating and staying in his own way. In the book of Isaiah we see how pride played an important role in the devil being the tallest pole in the tent, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.” – Isaiah 14:12-15

Today, Satan continues to be the other tall pole in people’s tents because they have aligned their ways with his ways or they have fallen victim to his ways. He is ancient and treacherous, manipulating mankind from the beginning and it looks like he is going to keep doing it until the end of days. He is going to do what he does so we do not owe him the credit that people tend to give him every day. Every day people are saying things like “The devil tried to steal my joy” and many of them say that more than say “Thank you Jesus” or “Thank you Lord”. It’s sad but true.

lightofforgivenessChrist Jesus didn’t recognize Satan every time something bad was happening so there is no reason for us to do it. We can’t win battles against Satan so we called on Christ Jesus to fight for us thus we need not fear Satan nor give him any more credit. Satan will remain the other tall pole in people’s tents if they make room for him. This is why we must maintain a great relationship with Christ Jesus and take ownership of things that we allow to block our blessings.

Lastly, doing things your own way will block blessings and impede progress for the sake of the kingdom. Those ways also opens doors for the evil one to add to our hurt, pain and suffering but I’m so glad that God provided His Son to be our Lord and Savior! I believe that if everyone would receive Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and keep Him first in our lives then Satan wouldn’t be as effective. Let’s forge better efforts to stay out of our own ways but depend on the Way that the Almighty Father has sent to provide blessings and favors now and forever. Amen!

Calvin Brown
Calvin Brown is an Ordained Non-Denomination minister at Shechaniah River Church in Newport News, Virginia. He retired from the Army in 2009 after serving 20 years as an enlisted Soldier. During his active duty service, he participated in many major military campaigns such as deployments to Somalia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan and received numerous awards to include two Bronze Stars. He attained his Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies at Saint Leo University, Florida. Calvin currently lives in Hampton, Virginia.