Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place,
I can feel His mighty power and His grace.
I can hear the brush of angel’s wings
I see glory on each face;
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
In the midst of His children, the Lord said He would be.
It doesn’t take very many, it can be just two or three.
And I feel the same sweet Spirit that I’ve felt oft times before.
Oh, surely I can say I have been with the Lord.
There’s a holy hush around us as God’s glory fills this place.
I’ve touched the hem of his garment and I can almost see His face.
And my heart is overflowing with the fullness of His joy.
I know without a doubt that I have been with the Lord.
Copyright: 1977 Lanny Wolfe Music
When God shows up in our lives, we cannot ignore His Presence. If we do, there is great regret with a constant hunger for what is missing in our lives. God may come in a dream, a hard challenging circumstance or a peace filled situation. His words of invitation to join Him in His work are spoken first to our hearts, then those words reach down to the very soul of our being.
His presence and His words change our thinking and perspective which changes our behavior. Yes, when God stands before us, right in the middle of all our flaws and arrogance, everything changes. We will know, without a doubt, we have been with the Lord and must now do what He says. We know we will never be the same again.
Genesis 28, The Message
1-2 So Isaac called in Jacob and blessed him. Then he ordered him, “Don’t take a Canaanite wife. Leave at once. Go to Paddan Aram to the family of your mother’s father, Bethuel. Get a wife for yourself from the daughters of your uncle Laban.
3-4 “And may The Strong God bless you and give you many, many children, a congregation of peoples; and pass on the blessing of Abraham to you and your descendants so that you will get this land in which you live, this land God gave Abraham.”
5 So Isaac sent Jacob off. He went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6-9 Esau learned that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him to Paddan Aram to get a wife there, and while blessing him commanded, “Don’t marry a Canaanite woman,” and that Jacob had obeyed his parents and gone to Paddan Aram. When Esau realized how deeply his father Isaac disliked the Canaanite women, he went to Ishmael and married Mahalath the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son. This was in addition to the wives he already had.
* * *
10-12 Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. He came to a certain place and camped for the night since the sun had set. He took one of the stones there, set it under his head and lay down to sleep. And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground and it reached all the way to the sky; angels of God were going up and going down on it.
13-15 Then God was right before him, saying, “I am God, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. I’m giving the ground on which you are sleeping to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as the dust of the Earth; they’ll stretch from west to east and from north to south. All the families of the Earth will bless themselves in you and your descendants. Yes. I’ll stay with you, I’ll protect you wherever you go, and I’ll bring you back to this very ground. I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you.”
16-17 Jacob woke up from his sleep. He said, “God is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!” He was terrified. He whispered in awe, “Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.”
18-19 Jacob was up first thing in the morning. He took the stone he had used for his pillow and stood it up as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it. He christened the place Bethel (God’s House). The name of the town had been Luz until then.
20-22 Jacob vowed a vow: “If God stands by me and protects me on this journey on which I’m setting out, keeps me in food and clothing, and brings me back in one piece to my father’s house, this God will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a memorial pillar will mark this as a place where God lives. And everything you give me, I’ll return a tenth to you.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Jacob was obviously in awe of God standing in front of him during his dream. This arrogant, flawed young man who manipulated the birthright and blessing from his twin brother Esau, now humbles himself before God. God invites him to join his ancestors in fulfilling God’s promise to the “sons” of Abraham.
When God shows up in our lives, we are humbled. Everything of this life seems less important, not worth considering, compared to knowing God and knowing what He wants from us. Our response to God’s invitation is found in Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” All are called, chosen, to join God in his work to save humanity from death. Walk humbly with God.
Jacob’s first response was humbled acknowledgement of God. He said, “God is in this place—truly. And I didn’t even know it!” He was terrified. He whispered in awe, “Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God’s House. This is the Gate of Heaven.”
Our response is somewhat similar. Wow! God, I knew that was you all along! Thank you, Father; thank you, dear Jesus; thank you, Holy Spirit. Jesus left His Holy Spirit as our guide and helper in walking humbly with God. When God shows up everything changes for us, too!
Jacob’s second response was immediate action, acknowledging God and His word. “Jacob was up first thing in the morning. He took the stone he had used for his pillow and stood it up as a memorial pillar and poured oil over it. He christened the place Bethel (God’s House).” Jacob no longer listens to self or his mother, but listens to God.
Jacob vows to validate God’s promise to him. “If God stands by me and protects me on this journey on which I’m setting out, keeps me in food and clothing, and brings me back in one piece to my father’s house, this God will be my God.”
Jacob takes another action, showing his changed heart, mind and soul. “And everything you give me, I’ll return a tenth to you.” Jacob knows all belongs to God, his action is to give back to God what is already God’s, honoring Him with his changed thinking and behaviors.
Our response to God is clear:
- Acknowledge God and His Presence
- Understand His invitation with an immediate response to join Him in His work
- Allow God’s Word to change us and prepare us to fulfill His purpose in us.
- Walk humbly with God—To God be the glory!
Your Word is true and your love is unchanging. We are chosen by you as your created to bring you glory, worship you with all our hearts, minds and souls as preparation to join you in your work to save humanity from death. You so loved the world, all of us. Thank you! Jesus, you took all our sin debt and paid in full. We humbly praise and thank you! Wow, what a loving God you are! Continue to teach, convict, correct and comfort us, Holy Spirit. Thank you for being with us, protecting us and providing for all our needs and “sticking with us”—as you did with Jacob. Flawed but forgiven.
In Jesus Name, AmenSurely the pres