“One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.” Genesis 28:15
Dear People Who Keep Company with God,
In Genesis 28, Jacob dreamed of a stairway set on the ground, it reached to the sky; angels of God were going up and down on it. The Lord was standing at the top of the stairway and revealed Himself to Jacob. He gave him the covenant of blessing, which was first given to his grandfather, Abraham. The dream ended with God’s assurance that He would always be with Jacob, and He would watch over him and fulfill that which He promised to him. When Jacob woke up from his sleep, he said, “God is in this place, and I didn’t even know it!” He was powerfully touched by the awesome fear of the Lord and said, “This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.” Jacob left that place saying, in effect, “Because you have blessed me, I will follow you.” As time went on, he married, had children, and prospered, but faced vexing relational issues with his father-in-law, Laban, and his brother, Esau. Life was busy and taxing. Even though he had a powerful encounter and awesome promises, over the years, his zeal for God faded.
We, too, are people whose lives have been marked by encounters with God, and there have been times when our passion for the King and His Kingdom boiled over in our hearts. But, like Jacob, life happens. We have family, jobs, and relationships and the burden that goes along with those responsibilities. Life gets complicated. Sometimes it is our finances, our health, or a situation with a friend or loved one. We also face disappointments connected with our relationship with God. The prophetic words don’t always work out as expected for one reason or the other. Dreams can dry up and die, which is very disheartening. We all have unanswered prayers. At the same time, there is a devil, and we are engaged in spiritual warfare, which alone can wear you down. Because of the difficulties of everyday life, passion for the Lord can diminish little by little over time.
In Genesis 35, about 30 years after Jacob had the dream, the Lord spoke to him and told him to return to the place of encounter, settle there, and build an altar to God. Jacob took his family, and they prepared their hearts for a fresh encounter with the Lord and were not disappointed. God appeared to Jacob and revealed Himself as El-Shaddai, Almighty God. He gave him a new name and a new identity. His time to receive everything that God had promised at the first encounter finally arrived.
We are in a time of preparation for a fresh encounter. Jacob’s story reveals two keys that will help prepare your heart for what God desires to do in this season (Genesis 35:1-3). He testified of what God had already done in his life over the past 30 years. The meaning of the word testimony in its root means ‘do it again, repeat.’ Revelation 19:11 says, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The testimony shows what God wants to do again and in more significant measures. Jacob also told his family to get rid of their foreign gods. Idols are anything that becomes more important than God. Idolatry starts in the heart with craving, desires, and being satisfied with anything that you treasure more than God. Let the Holy Spirit search your heart. Ask Him to free you, so you will not be hindered from receiving all He has for you. God is always faithful to His promises, He does not go back on His word. Even though there has been delay and loss, the Lord is going to fulfill His promises to you.
Many Blessings, BW