"I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointest the pillar, and where thou vowest a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred." (Genesis 31:13)
"GO BACK TO BETHEL"
Jacob had to run away from home because he was such con-man. He was a low-down, dirty dog that had deceived his father, and ripped-off his brother. His brother swore an oath to kill Jacob for his under-handed deals!
When he left home, he came to a certain place, and camped there for the night. He met God there! Despite his no-account ways, God came to him, and Jacob accepted God. Jacob vowed to be God's servant, and he named that place, Bethel, which means, "house of God".
Do you remember the place that you met God? That's YOUR Bethel! That is the place where you made a promise to serve God, and to walk with Him.
After that night, Jacob built an altar to the Lord, and travelled on. He married, and had children. God blessed him, and he became rich. He lived in his new country for 20 years.
Then, God came to him, and told him it was time to go back home. God reminded him that He was the same God that met him at Bethel!
Jacob had been gone a long time, some 20 years. It was time to return to Bethel, the house of God! It was time to go back to the place that he had met God, and made a promise to be His servant.
Twenty years is a long time with people. It is way too long a time to spend away from God!
What happened to cause this long absence? Jacob had gotten busy with marrying, having kids, and making his fortune! Isn't that something? The same thing that happened to Jacob is still happening to people, even today!
I think about all that Jacob missed out on over those 20 years apart from God. He gained a lot in this world, but didn't gain much for the world to come. This world passes so quickly, but the world to come is forever.
How long has it been since you've been back to Bethel? No matter how long it has been, or how short it has been, it is time to go back to the place where you came to know the Lord. It is time to go back to Bethel! Go back to the place where you made God a promise, and renew that vow!
Don't put it off. Do it today!
From my heart to your heart.