Come Out Of The Tent

What Is Your Tent?

Genesis 13:14, "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward."

Abraham could not see the promise until Lot left him. The name Lot, in the original language, means a veil. As long as Lot was in Abraham’s life, you don’t see God telling Abraham to look. God gave Abraham a promise and told him to leave where he was but it was after Lot left, God said to Abraham, look now!

You have the promise of God in your life but you cannot see it because some people in your life are veils. Some of us cannot see the vision that God has for us because we are surrounded by Lots. You don’t have to drive a Lot out; you have to let Lot go. Lot was Abraham’s cousin. He didn’t send him away over the conflicts they were having.

Abraham came to Lot and released him to choose where he wanted to go. This was a test. Lot should have humbled himself and stayed with Abraham. Instead, Lot ‘lifted his eyes’ and got his vision. He saw the land of Sodom and Gomorrah which looked attractive. This vision caused him to distance himself from Abraham. He went towards Sodom, got into Sodom, and got defeated there. Eventually, Lot loses his wife and everything he got from his vision and ends up in a cave, sleeping with his own daughters while being drunk.

I want to tell somebody reading this not to lean on your own understanding. Don’t try to figure out life alone by yourself and don’t think that you know better about the future. The Bible says Lot lifted his eyes and saw a beautiful land then in parenthesis it says (before the LORD destroyed it).

Our own vision is what separates us from God’s Kingdom, gets us too close to the world, and leads to brokenness and devastation in our families.

I want to speak to Abrahams who are reading this. Abraham had a Lot in his life. He was helping Lot. There was nothing wrong with that until Lot started having problems with Abraham. I love Abraham’s approach; he does not hold on to Lot. He simply gave him an option and the freedom to go. They agreed not to fight and created a healthy distance. This does not apply to your spouse or siblings.

I am talking about relationships you have with people that ever since you got too close to them, you lost your vision. You lost sight of your future. Your life has become about discussing other people instead of discussing your future. You may need to let them go. You don’t need to make noise or post about it. They want to go; just let them go.

Another thing I love about what Abraham did was not only did he let Lot go, he didn’t burn the bridge with Lot. Abraham kept the relationship but at a distance. Don’t burn bridges with places or people you walk away from. You don’t have to burn everyone you distance yourself from. You don’t have to slander everyone you feel you should no longer be deeply connected with. Sometimes they will need to come back to you or you will need to come back to them.

This also applies if you have moved from one church to another. In your new church, don’t talk about your previous pastor; bless them. God brought you into the next, you have to leave your ex (the past). God does not want you to go into the next season of your life dragging the dirt from the previous one.

Later, when Lot got into trouble, Abraham came and helped him. Abraham even interceded for the city Lot was in. This is how the Lord wants us to leave friendships and churches, in a way that we don’t lose our love and kindness or slander people.

Your Vision And God’s Vision

When Lot left Abraham, God told Abraham to look up. This is the difference between your vision and God’s vision. My vision is when I see a vision. But when certain people leave and God gives you the vision, that is different because then, God is behind the provision for the vision.

Genesis 13:18, "Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD."

Pitch A Tent And Build An Altar

Notice what happens to Abraham when Lot leaves. He pitches a tent and builds an altar. This is how you know you have a vision from God: you renew your vision and reset your values.

They left thinking you won’t make it but what actually happened is you got a clearer vision. Never allow people who leave to make you feel like they stole your future. They might have been a part of your past but only God is part of your future. You will still be able to make it without them but you cannot make it without God. Your future is never connected to people who left you; it is always connected to God who stays with you, no matter who leaves your life. If you have God, you have a hope, a future, and a destiny.

You build things that are permanent and you pitch things that are temporary. When God removes people or people leave, God renews your vision and resets your values. Your tent is not an altar. Every person that has a vision needs two things in their lives: an altar they build and a tent they pitch.

Abraham lived longer than any of us will live on earth. He was richer than most people will be in their lives but he had his values straight. Our altar is eternal. Our relationship with God is permanent. We must build our walk with God. We need to pitch our business and even our family but they are not eternal. That is why you should never let your business, spouse, or family take your relationship with God. It doesn’t matter how big, important, or great the tent is, it is not an altar. Don’t treat your tent like it is an altar.

When Lot leaves, Abraham renews his vision and reset his values. He pitched his tent and he built an altar to God.

Who Is The Successor Of Your Success?

Abraham could not be successful without a successor.

Genesis 15:2, "But Abram said, "Lord GOD, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?"

Despite all his riches, possessions, and wealth, Abraham did not think he was successful until he had a successor. It is not about what you leave behind but whom you leave behind. Success doesn’t rest on what you leave, but who you raise. It is who you raise that will keep what you set in motion when you are gone. Abraham was thinking about generations.

We define success without successors and that is why good success is on the decline. We think success is about having a big church, people getting healed, a big tent, an altar, and a vision. But Abraham the father of faith told God he was not successful until the Lord gives him a successor. Stop thinking about success without successors and succession. Our God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We cannot be people who ignore their future by not empowering the young generation.

If you don’t invest in the future generation, you will become a retirement center instead of a revival center. We want to be the revival fathers of the next generation, not the revival critics of the next generation.

God Treats Teenagers As Adults

God called Jeremiah to be a prophet at age 16. David was called to be a king at 17. All of Jesus’ disciples were teenagers with the exception of Peter who was 21. Without succession, we don’t have success. God’s promise of success hinges on God’s process of successors.

As Christians, you might be successful in reading the Bible and praying, but who have you raised? Who has become a Christian because of you? People today choose to be Christians who don’t make disciples because they make excuses. For us to see the Kingdom of God spread like wildfire, we must focus on successors instead of success.

The best way this is done is to go from a convert to a disciple to a laborer in God’s field and then, become a leader. As a convert, you got saved. As a disciple, you developed your foundation in Christ. A laborer in God’s field works in love so that others can come to know Jesus. Can you be a laborer of love and speak to people about Jesus? A leader is when those you labored for have become disciple-makers themselves and you help them to keep growing.

The Tent Problem

Abraham could not count his stars as long as he was in the tent.

Genesis 15:5, "Then He brought him outside and said, "Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them." And He said to him, "So shall your descendants be." 

When Lot left Abraham, God told him to look at the ground and count the dirt. When people leave you, you tend to get discouraged and look down. God told him he wanted to see nations as sand.

Abraham had developed a tent problem in the 15 years between these verses in Genesis. The tent problem is when you live for so long believing in the vision and it was not coming to pass that you are willing to settle for anything. God came to Abraham, took him outside of the tent where he had lived for the last 15 years, and this time, told him to look up to see the stars.

You cannot see stars unless it is dark. Stars are always there but you always see them the most clearly in the dark. However, you cannot see the stars if you are always in a place where you are constantly making excuses why you cannot do what God has called you to do. As long as you are letting your circumstances dictate what God says is possible, you will have limitation. Your circumstances are not your conclusion. God did not bring you to where you are to leave you in the tent. He wants you to come out of your tent and see the stars.

God’s Kind Of Vision

When it is dark in your life, I want you to lift your head to the hills where your help comes from and see multitudes coming into God’s kingdom, see children serving the Lord Jesus, see people getting out of wheelchairs, cancers being healed, blind eyes seeing and deaf ears hearing. See churches popping up like popcorn all over your state and all over the world. It is not by power, nor by might but by My Spirit, says the Lord. It will not happen naturally. There will be no human formula but it will be the wind of the Holy Spirit that will turn a family into a nation in the name of Jesus Christ and for His glory.

God wants you to get a bigger vision that doesn’t fit into your tent any more. He wants us to see multitudes and stars. Every star has a name and every name has a story. Every story has a family and every family has a destiny. Jesus died for every destiny. The Spirit of God seeks to influence and they will either go into Heaven or go into hell.

If you would only know what God can do if you only believed. I am not asking you to do anything different; I am asking if you can see the stars. Can you see stadiums being filled with families and children and parents being changed by the power of the Gospel?

He did not call us to win a few people but to go into the world and make disciples of all nations. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit will come upon you, not just for a neighborhood but for Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. God’s heart is so grand it fits every sand on the seashore and every star in the universe and He says could you dream with me for people’s destinies?

Lift Your Eyes Up And See The Stars

It doesn’t matter where you live or where you come from. Jesus was from Nazareth and David was from Bethlehem which were both small towns. Sometimes great things come in small packages. I want to encourage your faith and tell you to lift your eyes and look to the stars. Look to the harvest field for they are ripe for harvest. People are hungry for the things of God. The devil has nothing new to offer but to kill, steal and destroy. Sin has nothing new to offer but divorce, heartbreak, suicide, demonic possession and the eternal lake of fire. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus still loves, heals, saves, and restores. He says come out of your tent and see the vision.

The hardest thing to do is to believe when you have had years of delay and disappointment. For those of you who have prayed and fasted, prepare your heart because we are stepping into a new season. God is removing veils and He is taking us out of the place of limitation, stagnation, fear, and excuses. God is breaking limits off us so we can begin to dream with God. We might not have a formula or strategy but we have the power of the Holy Spirit. We are together in humility and hunger for God. God will open doors which no man can open for us and He will close doors which no man can shut for us. We will see the glory of God.

Why Vision Is So Important

Vision fuels discipline. Children don’t struggle with discipline; they struggle with a lack of purpose. You cannot enforce discipline on children, you have to give them a cause worth dying for. If you struggle with discipline, in reality, you are struggling with vision. The vision of souls and discipleship involves your family, your children, and your children’s children. God will take care of us but we have to get His vision for our lives. The Lord is not asking you to dream inside the tent, He is asking you to dream outside the tent. God wants you to begin to dream a dream that only God can dream.

Sermon By Vladimir Savchuk; Blog By Edward Gardiner

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