Let's Go Camping!

Jon Burgess


“I have been the Lord your God
ever since you came out of Egypt;
I will make you live in tents again,
as in the days of your appointed festivals."

Hosea 12:9


Why is God reminding His people about the mighty deliverance from Egypt? They have forgotten. They didn't earn or deserve their freedom. God led them out of Egypt and brought them to the Promised Land. A few years in the Promised Land and we begin to think it our land. That's why God had set up the Feast Of Tabernacles. This feast involved leaving the familar at home and making shelters of sticks. Uncomfortable? Yes. Inconvenient? Yes. Effective? Yes. It reminded God's people that they must never allow their current comfort to distract them from their covenant with God. This Feast was an annual way to shake things up, get out of their comfort zones, and remind themselves and their children, that if it weren't for God they would all still be slaves in Egypt. When we start to feel entitled to what we've got it's time to get out in the tents. When our lives become cramped up with things its time to camp out with God!


Comedian Jim Gaffigan went camping and realized he was “indoorsy”, saying he’d rather keep his relationship with nature “professional”. He then went on to list a number of reasons why camping is a bad idea. Some of his hilarious observations about camping:

-You get to burn your vacation time sleeping on the ground, freezing, and waking up with a rash.
-Camping is insulting to homeless people because you have to pay to sleep outside.
-The friendly couple next to you are probably serial killers trying to lure you in.
-If you’re playing dead around a bear, you might as well cover yourself in honey and lay down on a plate.

The above sentiments are essentially how my wife feels about camping. I sure love her, but I may never get her to enjoy camping the way I do! I love cooking outside because it takes twice as long but somehow it tastes better. I love how sleeping on the ground makes you really thankful for your bed when you get home. I love how going to find the outhouse when you're groggy in the middle of the night becomes an adventure all its own. I love how nature gets all over you and you cant wait to wash it off when you get home. I really do! Maybe its the change of pace or location, but it really works to remind me of how much I've been given.

As a point of application, use the summer to shake up your time alone with God. You probably have a daily routine with your devos, but use the summer months to try something new.

-Go hiking with God and bring your journal and write down what you observe. -Go walk the beach and tell God everything that's on your mind down one way, then be quiet and listen on the way back. -Find a new place to serve at church or in your community outside of your comfort zone. -Take time to journal with your family, read and memorize a summer scripture together like this one:“It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.” Psalm 74:17

It's good to break out of your routine and try some new things with the Savior of your soul. It reminds us that this relationship is the most important pursuit of our lives. It's good to make our flesh uncomfortable so our spirit can soar with Him again. It's good to do something different so we don't get stuck feeling indifferent to the Lord and all He has given us!


Prayer: Lord, I pray that I would never take for granted what You have brought me through and what You have brought me to! Thank You for the freedom I have found through Your sacrifice. I pray that no matter how uncomfortable my flesh gets in this next season, that I would continue to grow closer in my walk with You. It's not about my convenience, it's about Your Cross!

Devotions for July 07

Hosea 10,11,12
Psalms 73
Hebrews 4

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