Learning How To Worship In The Storm (David's Tent 2018)
Written by Megan Landreth-Smith
During the 1904-1905 Welsh Revival, Evan Roberts declared:
“The revival is borne along upon billowing waves of sacred song. It is the singing, not the preaching, that is the instrument which is most efficacious in striking the hearts of men.”
Hundreds of years later, in the midst of the grounds of Wiston House, East Sussex, six thousand gather from the world over, for the 7th year of ‘David’s Tent’, 72 hours of continuous praise with one purpose: to worship the King.
David’s Tent is founded upon King David’s tabernacle, the story told in 1 Chronicles, where for 33 years Israel employed worshippers and creatives, who expressed the sound of heaven into the atmosphere of Earth. For those 33 years, Israel suffered no invasions and fell into no idolatry; the power of praise was made manifest. The tabernacle of David was the entire community of Israel giving their lives in worship, day after day, year after year.
Those joining together at David’s Tent believe the culture of worship from David’s tabernacle is being restored, bringing with it a fresh fire of revival in the hearts of the children of God.
I soon discovered that David’s Tent wasn’t a gathering to simply appease the hearts of man, it was set apart in this, there was something so holy in the uncluttered simplicity of it all, whether it was the broken festoon lighting, the stormy Sunday rain that managed to seep through a crack in the worship tent, the damp grass underfoot, or the forgotten lyrics of those leading, it was an invitation into a divine moment, a face to face encounter. In the midst of it, there is a sacred and weighty song that can be heard, a song of laid down lovers, praise as incense, available for the heavenly King to ride upon.
This was my husband and I’s first year at David’s Tent and having met for the first time at one of the smaller David’s Tent gatherings in Oxford Street a few years back, plus a recent move to Brighton- it was high time we came along… our baby too.
When Sunday came, it came with a downpour, a seemingly never ceasing downpour that brought with it the churned up grounds and the muddy cling, and, an unprepared me, wearing suede trainers and a denim jacket.
As the crowds flocked into the tent for cover, worshipping shoulder to shoulder, something Sean Feucht spoke out in worship struck a chord with me: ‘God is cultivating a people who are learning how to worship Him in the midst of the storm,’ and I felt the Father speak to me.
For many it may appear growing has ceased and the season of winter has dominated for too long. Progress appears to be halted and we long to see another way, a way out. We feel struggle gives way to struggle and trial to trial. We are stuck, downcast and helpless, longing for the breakthrough but not seeing a response.
It’s easy to disregard this season, waiting for a way out, yet we may miss that He is teaching us something in the wait. He’s building something in us we didn’t possess before. We learn how to directly relate to the Father. He is building your faith of today before your promised land of tomorrow. He is creating us as a people of worship in the midst of the storm, not at the other end of it. We must worship though we feel nothing and thank Him for what we cannot yet see. Moses was in the desert for 40 years, Joseph in a prison cell for 10 years, and David on the run for 15 years. But the stories don’t end there. Moses would see sight of the promised land, Joseph would save a whole nation from famine and David would be promoted to King.
Do not miss this season, misinterpret or disregard it. Something beautiful will come forth from the barrenness and fruit will grow once more. I don’t think I heard a more resounding roar at David's Tent than the crowd echoing the words along with Jason Upton ‘this Garden’s gonna grow, this garden’s gonna grow, I hope that we’re all ready, this garden’s gonna grow.’ For we all are facing something, all 7,000 of us. It is not a case of if the garden will grow, it is when. You will bear fruit. The trees are not anxious of when they will bear fruit again, nor the flowers anxious when they will bloom. In our desperation we must believe that our cry of ‘God why have you abandoned me?’, will change to an awareness that He is calling us closer. The belief that our lack of joy will turn into an anticipation of what is about to come and the cry of ‘why have you brought me to this place?’ turning into thanksgiving and honour knowing that desert seasons, dry seasons, do produce fruit.
Child of God, there will come a time where we are led through, and we will lift our eyes to see what we had been waiting for. The desert becoming as green as the mountains of Lebanon and the shadows fleeing before us. The valley of trouble will become the doorway of hope, singing from silence and beauty from what appeared dead. Sleep is rubbed from our eyes as we realise surely the season has ended and in it’s place, a new day of destiny is breaking forth around us.
Breakthrough awaits, and as Steffany Gretzinger sang out into that cool Sunday evening, ripe with expectation: ‘it’s as easy as 1,2,3’. It was on the third day that Jesus rose again from the grave and defeated death itself, but the world stood in wait for day 1 and 2, baffled confused and unsure, and completely unaware that the King of the world was about to break the curse and tear the veil, and history would be forever changed, and so would we. Your breakthrough is coming, position yourself.
Leaving David’s Tent one thing is for sure, what He has started in us He will bring through to completion. I got to hear countless stories from the weekend of breakthrough and the goodness of God. 72 hours of the back and forth communion, the heavenly kisses from God to His people. It is true that worship strikes the heart of man, and how He has moved in us, will surely move the world around us.
Evan Roberts continued:
‘The church has been sleeping but she is awake and putting on her armour now, and marching triumphantly. But do not make a mistake: God cannot do a great work through you without doing a great work in you first.’