Whenever I have been camping, I always find it natural to orient the tent toward something important -- usually the fire, a lake or other such scenery. Likewise, as the book of Numbers begins, God gave various instructions to His people. In chapter two, He tells them how they are to arrange their tribes as they camped along the way to the Promised Land. While they were to camp in certain assigned places, they were all oriented around one thing: the tabernacle.

At all times, their lives were to be centered around the presence of God. When they awoke in the morning and exited their tent, there was the pillar of cloud above the tabernacle. When they retired at night, they could look over their shoulder before stepping in to rest and see the tabernacle glowing under the light of the pillar of fire. They were always facing God.

In 2 Cor. 5, Paul compares our physical bodies to a tent. With that in mind, to what have you oriented your tent? Make no mistake: it will be oriented and facing whatever you feel is most important. Some will face worldly pursuits or occupation. Some will face leisurely activities while others will orient towards family. But we will all focus our attention on something.

If we learn a practical lesson from Num. 2, it is this: we must always be oriented toward God. Our lives must be centered on Him and His will. I have met Christians over the years that have exemplified such an attitude -- always centering and speaking of godly things. You aren't in a conversation with them very long before spiritual elements will enter. They speak of helping others, visiting others, Bible studies, sermons, preachers, elders, people they admire, people for whom they are concerned etc.

And they are always at worship services. Mind you, I understand there are times when some can't assemble with the saints of God, and God does not hold us accountable to do things we cannot do. But, there are Christians I know that -- if they are not with the saints of God at appointed times -- you know something is wrong. They are early to services because they take their time with the Lord and His people seriously. They go to gospel meetings because they want to hear the Word of God preached over and over again.

Finally, I have noticed, they are always doing godly things. They are always calling or visiting someone in the hospital or one who needs encouragement somehow. They are preparing meals and writing cards. Their lives are selfless. They do these things not for the praise of men, but because of the One they have oriented their lives around. God is always before them. He is a reality they see every morning and throughout the day.

To what is the tent of your life facing? To what have you oriented the camp of your family today?

By Mark McCreary in Biblical Insights, Vol. 8, No. 9, Sept. 2008.

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