Where Have You Pitched Your Tent?

Where Have You Pitched Your Tent?
Bayless Conley

Genesis 13:12 (KJV) says,

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom.

Notice that Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom. Every day his attention was placed on that city. Here is what the Bible says about those that lived there.

But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly (Genesis 13:13, KJV).

What we focus our attention on will influence us. It will try to draw us in like a magnet. The next time we read about Lot he is living in Sodom.

And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed (Genesis 14:12, KJV).

Next we find him even further entrenched among the people of Sodom. Genesis 19:1 declares that Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom.

In Eastern cities, the "gate" was a place devoted to business transactions, the administration of justice, and the enjoyment of social discourse and amusement. Lot was right "in the thick of things"—but it happened by degrees. It was a process.

What you view and listen to, and the company you keep, will influence you—sometimes in very subtle ways—and will play a role in shaping your values and character.

So be careful where you pitch your tent!

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God.

The Velveteen Woman
by Sharon Jaynes
Girlfriends with God Devotional

Today's Truth
"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:10 NIV).

Friend to Friend
Most of us have read or heard of the childhood classic, The Velveteen Rabbit. Perhaps you first heard the story snuggled in your mother's lap or like me, as an adult with a child snuggled in your lap. For me, The Velveteen Rabbit is a treasure I discovered in motherhood, rather than in my childhood. And like many children's books, the message carries a profound truth that resonates more with adults than with kids.

The story begins...

"There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen. On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a spring of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.

"The boy loved the rabbit...for at least two hours, but then he was put on the nursery shelf with all the other toys. Because he was velveteen, some of the more expensive toys snubbed him. Some of the toys boasted about being fashioned as smaller models of real things, such as boats and soldiers. But the rabbit didn't even know that there was such a thing as a real rabbit. He thought all were just as he was, stuffed with sawdust. But one night, the rabbit made a fascinating discovery.

"The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else...

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become real. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The Velveteen Rabbit wasn't even sure what a rabbit was supposed to do. He just knew there had to be more to life than being filled with sawdust and sitting on a shelf.

Being real. That's what really matters. I don't want to wait until most of my hair has fallen out and I've lost my stuffing. I want to be real right now. So what if I don't look as shiny as the other toys in the nursery?

Yes, sometimes it is painful to become real. It takes courage. But until we do, we'll find our existence sitting on the shelves a dim reflection of the freedom and jubilant dance that God intended in the fields of life.

Join me next time as we look at a man in the Bible who learned what it meant to be real.

Let's Pray
Dear Heavenly Father, I know that You want me to be real and honest with those around me. Jesus was. He never pretended to be something that He was not and He didn't pretend not to be something that He was. I am Your child with many faults, failures and foibles. I made mistakes in my past and will make mistakes in my future. I pray that I will always have the courage to be real with those around me and never participate in religious pretending because of concern over what others may think. I'm just me: saved, sealed, delivered!

In Jesus' Name,


Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Strength Comes with Waiting
Dr. Charles Stanley

Isaiah 40:28-31

Exhaustion is a by-product of overcommitted schedules and never-ending responsibilities. In an effort to accomplish all that is expected, we often try to move faster and cram in more by multitasking. But in the process, we end up emotionally and physically fatigued. The Lord offers a radically different mode of living and grants renewed strength and stamina.

Those who wait upon the Lord are promised His supernatural energy. In fact, Scripture says it will surpass the natural strength and endurance of the young. Access to this divine power is achieved not by moving faster but by going slower—stopping to take time to focus on the Father, seek His direction, and ask for His strength to accomplish what He is calling you to do.

Earlier in my life, I wore myself out by impatiently pushing ahead, trying to do ministry in my own way and time. Since then, I have learned that when I pause and humble myself, admitting that I have no strength without Him, the Lord sustains me with both emotional and spiritual energy. There is no human explanation for what God is willing and able to do in a yielded human body. His Holy Spirit is like the wind beneath our wings, enabling us to soar like eagles.

The next time you are at the point of exhaustion, take some time out to focus on the Lord. Are you walking in step with Him, or have you gone ahead on your own? Align your pace with His, and take the energy He freely offers to those who walk obediently in His will.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

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