Friday, July 13, 2007

El Bethel

Hey, girls! Some of you know that I am doing Beth Moore's The Patriarchs study at our church right now. I cannot begin to tell you how much this study is doing for me and all of us who are in the study I think. I remember telling you all about Melchizedek and how I'd missed him along the way somewhere. There have been many other ways God has used Ms. Beth to speak to me along this journey through Genesis.
As I always do when I begin my bible study, I pray and ask God to open my eyes, ears, heart, and mind to what he has to say to me that day and to give me HIS understanding to apply it to my life.
He is always faithful to have something to say to me with each lesson. This morning he had a bunch of somethings from one lesson. This was a lesson on Jacob from Genesis 35:1- 15. It is when God tells Jacob to go back to Bethel where he met God and wrestled with him the 1st time. While he was at that place the first time, Jacob named the place Bethel which means house of God.
There are LOTS of things that Beth brought out in this lesson and God used her to speak directly to MY heart. And I am so excited (and a little nervous) about it that I had to share these lessons with you!
First lesson is this. I need to make myself ready to meet God every day!
When God told Jacob to go back to Bethel, Jacob first had everyone in his house prepare to meet the Lord. He had them get rid of any idols they had, to purify themselves and even change clothes. I began to wonder - "Do I do this? Do I get rid of my idols by laying them down to him? DO I purify myself by asking his forgiveness? Do I change my clothing -becoming spotless before him? DO I really PREPARE myself to meet my GOD each and every day?
See, I think there are many of us, me included at times, who don't really prepare to meet God -- not even on Sunday's much less any other day of the week. It is easy for each and every one of us to go to church on Sunday and NEVER prepare ourselves to meet our maker. We go and sit for whatever reason we are there but that reason may have nothing to do with meeting HIM that day. I don't know about you, but I want every opportunity I can get to meet the Lord. NOW, I know that God can have me meet him any time he wants even if I am not prepared but I want to be prepared. I want to search myself and get rid of my idols and ask his forgiveness and even change my clothes if need to be be fully prepared to have an awesome encounter with the Lord above. Let it be, Lord!
Second lesson is this. I need a good "housecleaning"!
Not only good, but a thorough house cleaning. I need to spend some time searching myself and asking God what are the things that are standing in the way of HIM being able to reconstruct me. I want to change and become more like God and be WHO he intends on me being! In order for me to do that, I need to ask him to help me clean house! I need to get rid of the idols, habits, character flaws and anything else that is standing in the way of purity in my life so that God can begin to sow his character in me and I can be a light for HIM! I have to give it these things completely over to him in order that he can reconstruct them in my life. Let it be, Lord!
Third Lesson is this. I need a change of focus!
When Jacob first met God, he named the place Bethel. As I said above it means "house of God". When Jacob returned to Bethel he named the place El Bethel which means "God of house of God". Now, when that first came up in Beth's lesson I was like, "Huh? What does that mean". It wasn't long before God had Beth explain it to me. She said that God changed Jacob's focus from the things God had for him -- his blessings, protection, and land to focus on GOD himself. OH, did that hit hard on me?!!? How often have I been focused on what I get from having a relationship with God instead of being focused on HIM for being HIM? I mean, we get to go to heaven when we have a relationship with God for goodness sake and what could be better than that? Especially for a girl who fights against the fear of death every day lately.... OH, how I feel ashamed that my focus has been only on what I can get and NOT wholly on the giver. I want my focus to be on the Giver of all good gifts and not on the gifts themselves. Let it be, Lord.
The last lesson? A new season is coming for me!
Beth ended this lesson saying that a new season was coming for Jacob in which he would need to know above all things that "God was his mighty mountain, and that HIS promises were true". I am here to tell you that I feel a new season coming for me. In my present struggle with anxiety and fear, Satan whispered that the new season coming was a bad one -- maybe even sickness and death. I rebuked the devil when he whispered that to me and prayed to God that NO MATTER what the new season is that is coming for me that I will remember always that he has plan for me. A plan for good and not harm. And I will continue to pray this every time the devil whispers things to me because he is sure to try and get me NOT to trust my God above. The last thing the devil wants is for me to FULLY trust and focus on GOD. BUT that lion is NOT going to devour me. He will not win! I will be victorious in the LORD.
I do believe I heard the Lord whisper to my heart also about what my new season is to be. It is excited and will take a lot of work but I am excited about it. I will continue to pray for HIS certainty on this as it will lead to lots of life choices for me and my family in the near future. It has to do with what I believe God is leading me to do. I will write about what the ministry is I believe God is calling me to, as he leads me. For now I need some more prayer and listening time.
But for now, I want to say that God is using the Patriarch's to speak to me about trusting him and I am learning ever so much. I am thankful that God uses Beth to teach me so much. And I hope that if you ever get the chance, that you'll do this study. It will be life altering! I hope also that these lessons I've learned today and shared with you will be used by God for someone out there. What about you?
Do you need to make yourself ready to meet the Lord?
Do you need to have a good "housecleaning"?
Do you need a change of focus?
Is there a new season coming for you?


Kim said...

You have been tagged...come see!


Denise said...

Thanks for sharing your heart with us, enjoyed this dear one.

Cyndi said...

Great, great points Mindy. And, no I don't think we always prepare to meet God (even on Sundays.) And then we sing songs that say, "Come just as you are to worship," LOL.

Hey, I tagged you too (different meme than Kim's. I think.) Love ya!

NspiredByFaith said...

Great post, Mindy. I agree, even though we believe we are "prepared" to meet the Lord. Are we really? I mean, REALLY?

Thanks for this reminder!


Cyndee@Riezzee's Place said...

I actually skipped reading this yesterday because I knew it needed my time to soak it in. Thank you for sharing what you are learning. I like the points about changing my focus - loving and seeing God for WHO He is instead of for WHAT He can do for me. Thank you for the reminder. Blessings.