Father, we come before you now on bended knee, hoping to honor you with our integrity. Please make our judgement as sound as steel and be our hands upon the wheel. Give us strength and vigilance on our routes and help us to serve others, as You did, Lord, without any doubts. Remind us to be gentle, humble and kind, and help us when we stumble in body and mind. Please shelter our families whilst we are away and bring us safely back to them at the end of this day.

Are we at the best place we can be?

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Listen to this week’s devotional on The J Bar Experience Podcast!

Genesis 12:8 says, speaking of Abraham “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, names in the Bible often hold much deeper meanings than what we find on the surface, and help to lend context to the deeper meaning of the situation. So I’m going to teach you what these two names mean this morning, and it is going to frame the idea of our devotional today.

The Bible says that Abraham pitched his tent having Bethel on the west – Bethel meaning the house of God or the place of God – And Hai on the east. Hai means a heap. A mess. A place of ruin.

So when we understand the meaning of these two names, it helps to understand where Abraham is at in his thinking, his attitude, and his life in general at this particular moment.

You see, Bethel was the place of God, a place where had Abraham stayed there, he would’ve been exactly in the best possible place he could have been. For whatever reason he decided to remove himself from there, toward a place called a heap. A mess. A place of ruin. 

But the thing about this story is he didn’t go all the way to Hai, but he found himself being comfortable to be somewhere between the best place he could possibly be, and the place of ruin. 

You know a lot of times, at least in my personal life – and maybe you can relate to this – I have found myself between Bethel and Hai. Between the very best place I could possibly be, and the very worst place – the place of ruin. Content, comfortable. Saying, “Well, I may not be in the best place I can be, but at least I’m not in the worst place I could be.

The problem with comparison is we have the propensity to always be comparing to the least.

“Well, I’m not as bad as I used to be.” 

“I don’t do the bad things I used to do.”

“I’m not in a bad place.”

Or we say this: “I’m not as bad as that person. I’m not where that person’s at.”

We say these things rather than comparing ourselves to the potential that we have. I said a few weeks ago during our devotional that God has not given us the spirit of fear, but the power of a sound mind and the ability to affect change. 

God has given each of us the ability to make choices and decisions that could bring us to the very best place. All of us have great potential in our lives. You may be sitting here this morning and thinking, “Oh I can’t do any better, I’m in the best place.” And maybe you are, but a lot of the times we are comfortable being between the two.

“At least I’m not doing so bad.” But I wonder this morning, could we be doing better? Are there choices we can make, actions we can take, to create a more enjoyable life, a better life? A life that is more of what God intended for each and every one of us to enjoy? Finding ourselves not at Hai, at the place of ruin? 

That’s good that we’re not all the way there, but if we are comfortable to be somewhere in between, we are not living up to our potential. Because we could be at the very best place that God intended for our life.

I hope that you will be able to reflect and maybe today, find the way. Find a spark of encouragement to help push you toward the very best place. 

If there is one thing I know about J Bar from experience, it is that they want the very best for their people. For our J Bar family. If there is one thing I know about the Lord, it’s that he wants the very best for his children.

Jerry White
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