Becoming Aware of God

Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it (Genesis 28:16). Jacob was forced to flee his family after receiving the blessing of God from his father Isaac. It was a result of his broken relationship with his brother Esau, who threatened to kill him. He was alone after leaving his family and was sleeping in the wilderness area at Bethel. It is here that Jacob encounters God personally for the very first time. He has a dream in which heaven is opened up to him. The Lord speaks to him here and gives him a promise to give him the very land on which he was lying. This encounter with God made him realize that God was in this place, but he was not aware of it. God had to remove Jacob from all that was of comfort to him in order to reveal Himself to Jacob. What began as a crisis that forced him to be removed from his family and friends led to an encounter with the living God and a fresh vision of God’s purposes for his life. How often we go about our daily routine and fail to recognize that God is in this place where we are. God had to bring Jacob to a place of separation of his old life and remove all his worldly possessions. He was alone with God at Bethel; nothing else could distract him from an encounter that would change his life. God often must do radical things in the life of the servant in whom He has special plans: Separation from family, removal of physical and emotional resources, an encounter from God. These are often the hallmarks of ownership by God for building a vision into a life.

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