As most of you know, I don’t get to sit and listen to a sermon on Sunday mornings much because I’m typically preaching. However, this past Sunday, following a week serving with youth at a World Changers project in Little Rock, I was able to worship with family in Russellville. As the preacher read the following from the book of Genesis, my mind began to churn and I’ve not been able to stop thinking about how important it is to position my tent where God has called me. The same can be said for all of us.
GE 12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him, and Lot went with him.
13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the Negeb.
13:6 so that the land could not support both of them dwelling together; for their possessions were so great that they could not dwell together, 7 and there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock. At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were dwelling in the land. 8 Then Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no strife between you and me, and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” 10 And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the Jordan Valley was well watered everywhere like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, in the direction of Zoar. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself all the Jordan Valley, and Lot journeyed east. Thus they separated from each other. 12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, while Lot settled among the cities of the valley and moved his tent as far as Sodom. 13 Now the men of Sodom were wicked, great sinners against the Lord.
19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.
In Abram’s case, he set his tent in the promised land. In Lot’s case, he set his tent where the land seemed to be the most fertile and near where the men where wicked. Let’s examine the progression of Lot’s journey toward Sodom.
Abram (Abraham) and Lot had vast wealth and needed to separate from one another to have enough land to support their people and their flocks and herds.
Lot picked the Jordan Valley because of its beauty and fertility.
He moved his tent next to Sodom, a wicked city.
Lot became distracted by and drawn to Sodom.
He moved from being next to a wicked city to sitting at the gate. (note: city leaders sat at the gate)
Are you making the same mistakes? Let me help you answer this question by asking questions that help us get our bearings.
What is your focus? More wealth and/or a beautiful place to live?
What are your distractions or temptations that take you away from God? What are you watching, reading and listening to and why? What do you think about or dream about frequently? What are your goals?
Are you increasingly participating in evil or partnering with wicked people?
Have you compromised to the point of becoming a leader of the wicked?
We can boil down the progression of Lot’s choices leading to wickedness to the following: He saw it. He thought about it. He couldn’t get it off his mind. He moved toward it. He joined the community of the wicked. He became a leader of it.
What is the rest of the story? Lot’s choices put him and his family in grave danger. Beyond that, God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.
My friend, if you don’t set your tent based on God’s calling, you’ll soon discover that your mind, heart and activity will creep beyond the borders of God’s purpose for your life. In fact, you’ll typically plunge into sin and participate with a community of the wicked. More than that, you’ll endanger your family. Beware! If you keep moving your tent toward the wicked, you’ll find yourself participating in wickedness and possibly even leading the wicked. Instead, Anchor Your Tent (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually) Where God Called You.
A Work in Progress,