Summary: How con I experience God’s presence on a more consistent basis?
We are going to look at a section in the life of Jacob, Genesis 28, as we look at experiencing the presence of God. How many of you would like to have more of God’s presence in your life? Tonight I want to show you some principles and then next week how to live in the presence of God and then how to pass the presence of God on to others.
Lets look at the first seventeen verses of Genesis 28. So Isaac called Jacob and blessed him and charged him, and said to him, “you shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Paddan-aram; to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and from there take to yourself a wife from the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of people. May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you; that you may possess the land of the sojourneyings which God gave to Abraham.” Then Isaac send Jacob away and he went to Paddan-aram to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram, to take to himself a wife from there and that when he blessed him he charged him saying; ‘You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan’ and Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and had gone to Paddan-aram. So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; and Esau went to Ishmael and married besides the wives that he had, Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebaioth.
Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. And he came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. And he had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: "I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south; And in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth will be blessed And behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘ Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.’ And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the home of God and this is the gates of heaven.
Although my focus is from verse 10, I read the complete section so you can have an understanding of the journey Jacob was on. He had traveled out to the midst of a field where we find a rock to lay his head on to sleep. I don’t know at night where you lay your head, but my falls on soft feathers not a rock. I have a problem with foam, I can’t image a rock for a pillow, but that is what Jacob did for his sleep. It is not always comfort we seek, but the presence of God we seek. And Jacob fell into a fit sleep, having a dream. In this dream he sees a ladder descend standing next to God and God says to Jacob, And in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth will be blessed And behold I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
How many of you are ready to have a dream like this? We are not talking about dreaming in church, this is at the very entrance of heaven Jacob has this awesome dream.
I. Our Acute Need. You and I have an acute need, a need to be in the presence of God. There is this longing, this desire. Some people reveal their need through boredom. Some say they are bored with their marriage, but that is not the problem, they don’t need a new spouse, they need the presence of God in their life. Here are several acute desires. The desire…