Three years ago at a youth service I attended, one of my pastors said something and I must say it got me thinking through out the service and even when I came home. I think this is because even though it’s something I have known, its been buried deep in my mind that I hardly even remembered that I knew that. Secondly because during the week that just passed, I was having conflict in my mind concerning something related. What did he say? He said ‘Do not pitch your tent towards Sodom’. This quote of his would only make sense if you know its origin. I’m sure a lot of you know the story of Lot; the nephew of Abram. Just in case you don’t know the story, I’d give a brief summary of what happened. It would help explain that phrase and why it hit me hard
‘Do not pitch your tent towards Sodom’.
Lot was not content with having to submit to Abram, or having to be second to him. Because of this, there used to be a lot of strife between them. Abram not wanting that, gave Lot the opportunity to choose wherever he wanted to live and own and he would choose the other direction away from it. So Lot looked and decided he wanted to pitch his tent towards Sodom who were sinners before God (Gen 13:12-13) and Abram took Canaan. Later in chapter 19 of Genesis, we see what this decision costs him. First he moves from being TOWARDS Sodom to being IN Sodom (I would explain the relevance of this statement soon), he lost his wife eventually (she turned into a pillar of salt remember?), his own daughters got him drunk, slept with him and bore children with him, he probably had to engage in filthy conversations and listen to unnecessary talk by the sodomites; things that were anti his beliefs. He went through all this just because he waned to have his own riches and wealth and not submit to Abraham’s authority. Okay now let me now explain the two major lessons I learnt from this story
God is a just God, A God of free will. He doesn’t impose anything on us. He hopes and wants us to pick His way or His choices but never forces them on us. Have you ever thought where was God when the serpent was deceiving eve? Why didn’t He rush to stop them? He knew he had poured His spirit into them, taught them and talked to them, gave them counsel during His strolls with them so He then left them to make their own choices hoping they would make the right one. Same thing He does with us. He uses ministers and other members of His kingdom to spread His word, teach us, inform us, the Holy Spirit also prompts and checks us then we are given the choice to follow Him or not. We are never forced to. This is a mistake we as Christians sometimes do. We try to force unbelievers to Christ but it doesn’t work that way sweethearts. In the story of Lot, we see that the man of God, Abram didn’t impose his will on him. Abram gave him the power to choose and he foolishly went after his lustful worldly desires instead of staying with Abram, a man walking and living in the will of God. It also teaches me that the life we see in the world isn’t as glamorous as we think. Look at Lot; he thought he had picked the best place. He thought he had ‘won’ and with this we learn that looks are very deceptive the devil will present living in the world as very beautiful and fulfilling. It actually isn’t, look at what happened to Lot, the same is bound to happen to us if we turn away from His will and seek our own.
The devil will present living in the world as very beautiful and fulfilling
The second lesson is that we should not pitch our tent towards Sodom. What does this mean? It simply means don’t allow yourself to be at places, to see or hear things that would create room for ungodliness or anything unacceptable in the Kingdom of God. Why? Because pitching your tent TOWARDS Sodom lands you IN Sodom. Lot went from being at a distance to being right amongst them. We don’t realize how much the things we watch, hear, see, how much people we associate with and places we go influence our habits. We can go from being a witness to such activities to being involved with/in it. Ever wondered where your idea of what’s fashionable came from? From things you watch, read about and hear right? Ever wondered why people move from just watching porn to actually practicing it, having sex? Ever wondered why you’ve never had an encounter with someone but based on what you heard, you dislike the person? Ever wondered why you think that so far as you are dating someone you HAVE TO make out and touch each other inappropriately? Haven’t we wondered why kids today are so disrespectful and we know they have good parents? Ever wondered why we have rebellious teenagers? Well the devil is stealing our will power through the media of the world and the voices of people who are not in the kingdom of God. He’s making our choices for us and we don’t even realize it. He is telling us how to dress, how to speak, how to behave in relationships amongst a million other things. This is why we NEED to be careful what we expose our eyes and ears to.
A week before the youth service, I was watching a TV series. I kept watching knowing very well that there would be scenes of detailed intercourse involving both men with women and also women with women. I usually skip those scenes but this time a voice kept prompting me to stop watching it and delete it but I told myself I skip those sides so it shouldn’t matter but the voice kept prompting me so I stopped watching. One moment I’d be so anti something, next thing I really don’t mind the idea, or I’m not as disgusted about it as before. I stopped watching so many things even prior to this because I realized that the devil through these faculties is trying to make the world seem more pleasant than it is. Trying to present to us sin like it’s the ‘new thing’, like it’s not a big deal, like we are missing out. Didn’t you realize how tasty and good the devil made the fruit seem to eve just to make her disobey God? I have come to realize that ‘its JUST a movie or a song or a message or an outfit’ is more damaging than we think. We shouldn’t give room for pollution and that’s what the people of the world are doing to us. Presenting us with all things anti God wrapped up in beautiful and attractive packages. We are feeding on these things and aren’t even realizing it. I’m sure Lot thought though ‘I can see Sodom from my tent, I would never be like them or fellowship with them’ but in verse 14 of Genesis, we see that in a matter of time he’s amongst them, fellowshipping with them and sharing their ideologies on life.
” Be conscious of the sort of information you receive into your hearts from the world for what you plant, you will fruit!”
Personally, I’m making a decision to stay away from certain things. I’m in no way saying don’t watch TV or series or movies or read magazines or anything. I still do myself. I’m only saying you shouldn’t be involved or allow just anything into your system, be conscious of the sort of information you receive into your hearts from the world for what you plant, you will fruit. Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, Guard your heart with all diligence! Until next time, stay blessed
One moment your tent is only TOWARDS ‘Sodom’ but the next time you are IN ‘Sodom’ and wouldn’t have even realize it.