Camped Between Bethel And Hai
Shortly after leaving Egypt Abraham returned back to the land God brought him to a land filled with people of the world and its influences. And what did he do? Well lets look.
Gen 12: 7, 8 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
Now everyone knows what a camp is, Right? it is a temporary dwelling place where one sets up a tent or temporary dwelling.
When God has made himself known to a man and that man comes to that place where he trust in the finished work of the Cross of Christ and hears of the promises God will give him. He is no longer a native to the world but a sojourner with no place of his own. His life is set between the places the Abode/House of God (Bethel) and the world (Hai). His life will be by faith in his God, receiving the promise of God of a new body and a life with Christ forever, and like Abraham his life may pass without ever seeing the promises.
The thing that is going to give you strength to live in between heaven and this world is by building up the altar. If your body is the Temple of the Holy Ghost then your heart is the Altar by which you offer up not just spiritual sacrifices of thanksgiving. But also prayers, requests, petitions and supplication with those thanksgivings. And we do so through the sacrifice and name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is the meeting place you have with God while in this world.
Heb 11:8-10 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, OBeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and JacOB, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
That is a life of Faith. We are to be living a life of faith just like Abraham, A life that trust in God and not in ourselves, our teachers, our environment or any government. A life lived in the world but not of the world. This is the very life a Christian takes upon himself once he places his trust upon the finished work of Christ on the cross for his sins.
Christians should be drawing closer to God at the altar of ones heart and not closer to the world. But unfortunately many are following the ways of the world especially following worldliness disguised as Christianity. i.e. the dancing, prancing, man glorifying, without faith. Pretty much practicing that which is found in 2 Tim 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disOBedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Many of these traits are found in those who make up our churches and because we are not taught the word of God we are left to our own ways and thoughts and not God’s.
There are two things that will happen in a Christians life when they are between two places, he will either practice works of the flesh or he will produce the fruit of the spirit.
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. These are the everyday works of any body any where in the world it is called sin. It is odd for us to think that works of the flesh are sinful but they are.
But Christians should be progressing in fruit bearing.
Galatians 5:22-25 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. These are supposed to be the everyday fruit of those who are saved. When you have and practiced these fruits, the former things no longer run your life. These two things are against each other they do not blend.
Now what we just looked at is the two natures that reside in every born of the Spirit believer. It is the middle ground between both these natures, between Bethel and Ai where we are camped.
The works of the flesh are the effects of having worldly friends, worldly possessions and worldly practices, and these cause us to become hardened to the practice of sin and creates in us hard hearts to God’s word. While God’s word is clear we are to separate ourselves from the world and encourage each other in our faith. We must learn, grow and teach others the sound doctrines that we have learned from the Holy Bible. We are to fellowship with those who practice and believe as we do. While we have a tendency to go between Bethel and Ai in our lives there is no reason for us to do so. So we need to check ourselves are we performing the works of the flesh in what we do or are we producing fruit of the spirit in what we do?
We must remember we are not of this world and this world is going to come to an end. We need to stop acting like the world and be living in this world as if we are not waiting for Christ’s return. We are to be wise and good stewards of what God has given us. Taking care of our children and families and poor in our church. Not praising worldliness and glorifying in it to the exclusion of all else and call it life in Christ.
The first step in walking as a true believer of God’s word is to trust Jesus for your salvation. If you are saved then just get right before him and turn your eyes upon Bethel you home in heaven.
Second build up the altar where you can go to seek God, while you are living between Bethel and Ai. A place where you can go to and communication with God our father and our Lord Jesus Christ. You do this by reading your Bible more than just once a day, study it memorize it and believe it.
We are camped between our home in heaven and the world, we are not of this world but we are in it. And as such we need to build an altar to go too while we are living between heaven and earth
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