Once a man touches God and consecrated himself, he no longer live to himself but to God. What shall we do after consecrating ourselves to Him? Abraham was an example to us. After God manifested to Abraham, he consecrate himself totally to God and immediately build an altar to God.
What is a tent? Is something movable, and does not take root anywhere. Through the altar God deals with us; through the tent God deals with our possessions. Abraham offered up his all to God, but he still possessed cattle and sheep. It is because not everything that has passed the altar is consumed. God does leaves some of the things offered on the altar for our own used. Here is a principle, we should placed everything on the alter, what is left is only for our own used. Everything have to passed through the altar only then can be kept in the tent. Therefore we need to apply this principle in our living. What is needed, we can used them, what is not needed we need to dispose them. We may use them, but we must not be touched by them. We can have them or let them go; they can be given, and they can be taken away. This is the life of the tent.
The altar led to tent, and tent led again to the altar. Those that keep in the tent may need to put it back on the altar. We cannot decide to keep anything for ourselves. If we have something for ourselves in the tent, we cannot returned to the second altar and say that our live is being lived for Him.
We may be easily stirred up to consecrate ourselves, but what matters is how our consecration stands.
God demands that everything we have be placed on the altar and that we have placed what He has left for us in the tent. We can only have the second altar when everything is in the tent. The most precious experience is the experience of the second altar. It is easy for us to be stirred up, to become zealous, and to consecrate ourselves. But three or five years after this, we collect many things from the world again, and we cannot go back to the altar anymore. But it is very precious if we can always be tent dwellers and build a second altar. The problem is not with possessions. The problem is with how our consecration stands.
If we want to be in fellowship with God, we can never forsake the altar. May He be gracious to us and cause us to see the importance of consecration so that we may live a life of the altar and the tent!
further reference: THE LIFE OF THE ALTAR AND THE TENT