Summary: God has not limited His presence of activities to a building or to a calendar.
Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, had a life-changing experience at Bethel (House of God). He had a vision of a staircase reaching into heavens with the angels of God "ascending and descending on it" (Genesis 28:12). The Bible said that he called the name of that place Bethel, "the house of God" (Genesis 28:19). He erected a pillar at Bethel to mark the spot of his vision (Genesis 28:22, 31:13).
The Bible said that Jacob later build an altar at Bethel, where he worshiped the Lord (Genesis 35:1-16).
In the reading of this passage of scripture, it is obvious that Jacob did not expect this event to happen in his life.
In the way God deals with men, He often comes to them in unexpected moments and unexpected ways. He lets us go through life in the way life is without changing a thing until all of a sudden His presence is made known to us, I wonder if that has ever happen to you? All at once God does something in your life unexpectingly.
That is when we really realizes the fact that God is with us.
The ability to be conscious and aware is a matter of our hearts. I have heard the best photographer has to have a good film before he can produce a good picture. Today’s technology has produced film and equipment that enables us to photograph from space satellites small objects such as the numbers and letters on license plates on our cars. Sensitive equipment spans the scores of miles to record details of the activities on earth. The film did not create the activity, but its sensitivity reveals the presence of the activity. In like manner, our hearts must be sensitive to the activity of God before we are aware of His presence among us.
God’s presence is very active among us, but it is our ability to record, to understand, to be impressed and to be enlightened that is often limited by earthly things. Our carnal orientation often obscures our insights into the realm of the Spirit.
Through the many years, I have struggled in looking and studying the Word of God and studying men that have known God. I have asked myself the question, How does a person know God? How can he find God? The answer lies in a very special something that is very uniquely built in us, the Spirit of God that He has given to us. Only by the Spirit can a person really know God.
All the learning that he may accumulate will never bring him to the knowledge of God.
To be aware of the presence of God is the most beautiful, adventurous experience in a person’s life.
People have walked through life and interacted with great men without really being conscious of their privileges until the great men were dead and gone. It is terrible not to be aware, yet sometimes we are so cumbered by the activities of normal living that God has a special place in our lives only on a Sunday morning at a certain time. We often restrict finding God to a particular time and place.
But we should look in the Bible at the interruption that God brings to people’s lives when they were not "in the Temple." Some things happened in the Temple, but many encounters with God came in other places and at unexpected moments.