Tag Archives: meeting with God

Chasing Bethel

I was born and raised in church. It seemed like we were there every day because if the doors were open, we were going to church. I spent most of my church time reading the hymnal, counting knots in the wooden beams or counting ceiling tiles. Then, when I was around twelve years old, I went to kids camp in Kerrville, Texas and had an encounter with God. Suddenly I felt His presence and He became real to me. Each night of camp, I was more excited for the services than the games. Camp became a place where I wanted to go each year so I could experience God like I had before.

In Genesis 28, Jacob was on the run. He had stolen his brother’s birthright, and Esau was looking to kill him. He camped near a city called Luz. That night, he had an experience with God. He saw a ladder descending from Heaven and the angels were going up and down it. He also saw the Lord standing beside him. Verse 16 says, “Jacob woke up and said, ‘The Lord is here! He is in this place, and I didn’t know it!’” (GNT) He changed the name of that city from Luz to Bethel, which means house of God. He returned there later and had another experience with God as well.

If you’ve been a believer for a while, you can probably point to your Bethel where you experienced God like never before. I know many people who are chasing Bethel. They’re looking to recapture it by going to all the conferences, worship concerts or certain churches. They’re looking for that place where they can experience God’s presence in a tangible way. What we forget though is that God’s presence is everywhere. We can experience Bethel wherever we are when we position our hearts, give God freedom to meet with us and wait on Him. We don’t have to chase Bethel by going to a certain place. God is ready to meet with you where you are so you can experience and encounter Him consistently. The Lord is in the place where you are today making it your Bethel.

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Fresh Manna

When I first started writing for this site, I made a list of topics in my phone. I would try to brainstorm every couple of days to add to the list. I wrote on things I knew, but each day I was writing out of fear. I was so afraid that I wouldn’t have anything to say or that I’d run out of topics. As I shared my fear with an author, he told me I was approaching it all wrong. He said, “You need to go to God each day with an empty bucket and say, ‘Here i am, Lord. I need a fresh word. Will you fill up my bucket with enough for today?’” That conversation changed how I write and how I approach writing. It’s forced me to quit trying to use my knowledge, and to go to God each day seeking to hear Him.

In Exodus 16, the children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea and were on their way to Mount Sinai. They were hungry and began to glamorize their slavery. They complained that at least they had food in Egypt. God heard them and decided to supply them with what they needed. Each night, quail would fly into the camp and rest on the ground to provide them with meat. In the morning, the dew would turn to a thin bread like substance called manna. They were to take their buckets out in the morning to collect about half a gallon of it per person as food rations. They did this every day while they were in the desert.

In Exodus 16:15-16 Moses said, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs, two quarts for each member of his household” (GNT). I believe the same is true for us. To move from a head knowledge of God to a heart relationship, we must go to Him each day seeking Him. Sunday’s sermon wasn’t meant to feed you all week. God is looking for you to meet with Him daily to feed your spirit. It’s time we started getting fresh manna from above each day. If you’re not sure how, pray, “Lord, I need fresh manna from you. I open my heart to hear from you today. Show me what you want to hear from you today.” Then open your Bible and read until you hear from Him. It’s not about the quantity as it is the quality. God will speak to you through His Word and fill your bucket daily.

Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

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Protecting Our Relationship With God

I get the opportunity to talk to different people all the time. Inevitably someone wants to ask me relationship questions. I’m not a trained counselor or anything like that, but as I listen to these stories, there’s a constant thread through all of them. The problems they’re experiencing are a result of a lot of little things that have crept in and gone unchecked. Also, they haven’t done things to protect the relationship. When that happens, the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back ends up happening and it gets the blame. The truth is it was several small, basic things that added up.

Just like any relationship, we have to make sure that we do the small, basic things in our relationship with Christ. We need to set parameters and protect it. We live in a connected world where everything seems to be vying for your attention. If we allow little things to distract us and keep us from praying or reading our Bible or going to church, it will become difficult to have that relationship that God wants to have with us. We must protect that time. We must make it sacred so that nothing and no one comes between us and God.

I’m reading the Bible book Song of Songs (Solomon) in the Passion translation. They’ve taken it and put in red letters the parts that are allegorically from God. Chapter 2:15 says this to us from God, “You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together” (TPT). God is asking us to protect our relationship with Him. I also love that just like any other relationship, it’s not just one side’s responsibility. We need to work together with God to remove the obstacles in our relationship so it can grow.

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