The story’s simple, yet profound. God’s grace. His amazing grace. Jacob has no hope of earning it…all his scheming, all his wrangling, all his attempts to secure what God had promised, God’s blessings through his own efforts…seem to have backfired. Alone in a dark wilderness, Jacob got what was coming to him.
And then God showed up…everything changed. The ordinary became extraordinary. Any place becomes Bethel…any rock a sacred pillar. Have you had that kind of encounter with God yet? Abraham and Isaac’s faith weren’t enough…Jacob had to have his own encounter with God. That may be one of the most difficult things as a parent…I want so much for my boys to share my faith. But it’s not until it becomes their faith that their faith journey with God begins. And as a parent I don’t get to dictate what that faith journey looks like…only God does.
Likewise for students, your parents’ faith isn’t enough…you have to have your own encounter with God. You have to experience the ordinary becoming extraordinary.
When God shows up, He not only transforms us…death to life, son or daughter of the King… but He also transforms our earthly journey from a touring expedition into a sacred pilgrimage. After encountering God’s presence, Jacob’s life is never the same. Although he is on the same journey, he is now more spiritually aware. Just by becoming aware of God’s presence our chartered paths are transformed. We are on the adventure of faith, a wild, dangerous, unpredictable ride…going where we never thought we would go, doing what we never thought we would do.
Initial God encounters happen when we have a collision with Jesus. He is the link between the earthly and heavenly, the physical and spiritual. He is our only means of being restored to our Creator God. Only He could crush the head of the serpent. He lived a perfect life, died a bloody, horrible death, and was raised again the third day proving that He had conquered both sin and death…so that we too might conquer sin and death through faith in Him.
Having believed, God encounters should be a daily occurrence…the ordinary becoming extraordinary. But for too many of us, the wonder and mystery, the danger in following Jesus has become routine. We no longer see the extraordinary. It’s just any place and any rock. God wants so much more for us. He wants us to encounter Him afresh and experience life He called us to…this wild, crazy adventure of faith. He wants us to see every person we meet as an eternal soul that will spend eternity either with Him or apart from Him. He wants us to join Him on His rescue mission…pulling folks out of the fires of hell.
May we experience the extraordinary life we have with our Creator God in new and fresh, powerful and transformative ways this week.
Until next time…stay salty.