If I asked you this morning how your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is, what would be your answer? It’s not a comfortable question, because if we’re truthful, none of us are walking as close to the Lord as we should be. At the end of Wednesday night teen class last night all the teens had cleared out with the exception of a few girls who wanted to talk (such an honor!). One of those young ladies had made the decision to rededicate her life to Christ and her friend encouraged the way. She wanted to put a marker down that she could look back at and say “This is the day I moved closer to Christ.” While the renewal of our mind should be an everyday occurance because of the garbage that travels through it in the course of a day, rededication is a more serious event. I think of it much like the time in Jacob’s life when he left home. In my mind’e eye I always picture him as a young man, but in truth he was past the age of retirement when he left his parents home heading toward Haran (Genesis 28:10). That puts a some what different perspective on his behavior and a certain need for a getting his heart right with God.
He’d lied to his father, deceived his brother, and his mommy made him run away at 70 years old… I think it was time. His first night on his own wasn’t in an apartment in the city it was on a hillside with a pile of rocks for his pillow and there he found himself with night dreams, visions and a lot of time on his hands. It’s those harsh nights that get me too. When your mind won’t stop reeling of the things in life that are not as they should be and darkness has a tendency to bring things to light… Like the need for a right heart with God.
Jacob’s dream: (Genesis 28:12-15)
And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not.
For me that was the equivalency of arriving at church, and at the end of service saying, “Wow! I had no idea God hung out here.” I’m pretty sure there are some folks who still don’t know… but I digress. God had met Jacob there and he didn’t know until he awoke from his sleep. That’s the time of rededication! When you wake up and realize that God is trying to move in your life and you’ve been so far from God’s mindset that you had no idea. When He created us, He spoke a plan but then we get off track. As a child of God we all want it… you know… God to do something great in our lives, but we start going through religious motions. We can do it in our sleep. Don’t cuss, don’t chew, don’t date the guys who do (especially if you’re married), go to church, treat people right and so on and so forth. And then church becomes less of a priority, but we still treat people right! Jacob didn’t even do that. He likely felt as low as a snails belly! He knew he’d messed up.
God wanted to do great things in his life, but first Jacob was going to have to come to terms with God, on God’s terms.
And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.
Jacob put that stone down as marker in Bethel (which means house of God) as a reminder that he and God and renewed their relationship in that place. Do you have to be in church? No, but it sure helps set the tone! My young friend had come to church last night with the need to lay a marker down. I can’t wait to see what God does with her life! She’s entering her first year in high school and was ecstatic that a church across the street from her high school was opened once a week by the senior class for a prayer lunch. A group of young people returning back to the place God began dwelling many years ago… What do you think might happen there? Revival!!!!! I hope.
Let’s all go to the Rock! Age doesn’t matter, but God needs us to get back to the plan.