|Example of standing stone.|
It seems that just when I need it the most, God makes His presence known to me and I see how He is with me. Sometimes He does this through Bible study, sometimes it is in a sermon, sometimes He uses a person to speak His truth to me, and sometimes I feel Him speaking it to my heart. No matter what method God has used to speak His faithfulness to me, it grows my faith and I find myself in a new place in my relationship with Him. All week I have read about Jacob's decision to steal Esau's blessing and the ensuing consequences and today I want to look at an important moment in Jacob's relationship with God. This is a moment that completely changed his life and his faith in God. Please read Genesis 28:10-22.
Jacob had begun a trip to Paddan-aram, where his relatives lived. The main reason for this was because he had to flee his brother's wrath and desire to kill him, but Isaac also gave him a blessing to inherit the promise given to Abraham and to find a wife at his grandfather's house. I'm sure given the circumstances surrounding Jacob's journey, he had fear. Fear of his brother, fear for his safety on such a long trip, and fear of never seeing his family again. But God knew his fears and met him in that place. God let Jacob know that He would be with him and see the promised fulfilled through Jacob. God let Jacob know that His safety would cover him. Verse 17 also tells us that his fear of the physical things changed to a fear of the knowledge of God. He experienced the majesty of God and had a respectful fear. But notice his reaction! He erected a stone and named the place Bethel, meaning the house of God. He marked this place as a place that God had visited. But he also declared his faith in God and promised a tithe of one tenth of all that was his to God throughout his life.
God wants us to know Him as our One and Only God. He wants us to understand His amazing majesty and glory as much as our human minds can comprehend and declare our lives for Him. He wants to replace the fear we have of things that cannot destroy our spirits with a fear of the One who created us. This is a fear that recognizes that He is greater than anything else in this universe, yet it doesn't make us cower when we are in Christ; it makes us worship Him. We may face incredible opposition in this world; however, the world cannot destroy our spirits. Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) says, "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Praise God! His love sustains us and frees us and we will never be separated from His love.
Have you replace your fears of the world with God's love?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.