The journey home: or The road back to Bethel,
Why some can’t seem to go? Because…
God told Jacob to get up and get back to Bethel. He is saying the same to America today. Get back to the house of God! Why is it so difficult for men to get right with God? What is it that keeps us from repentance and returning to a right relationship with the God of Heaven?
I. …The drive seems to be gone
A. The driving force of God’s people is supposed to be the Spirit of God.
1. Habakkuk 2:4 “the just shall live by faith”
2. Galatians 2:20 “the faith of the Son of God”
3. Luke 16:10 faith means faithful
B. The drive seems to be gone
1. The Spirit is not gone because those of us who are saved are still here. We are sealed unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30)
2. The Spirit is often quenched in the service
a. in the audience (hidden sin)
b. and in the pulpit (hidden sin)
WE JUST DON’T LET GOD DO THE DRIVING ANYMORE
“GOD IS MY CO PILOT”
How have we pushed God aside?
1. Prayer has been replaced by procrastination; people (or think about it) meditate instead of praying
2. The word has been replaced by propaganda; preachers act like our modern day theological commentaries are the inspired word of God.
3. Preaching has been replaced by persecution; Preachers spend more time putting others down than they do trying to reach the lost and edify the saints.
II. …The Destination – Bethel
(The name Bethel means the house of God, and there is a great deal of confusion today among the church as to just where that is and how important it is to be there.)
A. the House of God is not brick, mortar, stone, etc.
1. Acts 17:24 “God dwelleth not in temples made with hands
2. God’s house is a place of:
f. fellowship – love
Jacob’s house was confused “gods” (plural) as is America.
Tainted, defiled; they were dirty and it showed
3. the house of God is to
a. teach the saved
b. reach the lost
c. rebuke sin (when needed-not simply at the preacher’s pleasure.)
America is confused about this purpose of the church in our day.
III. …The Detour – Penuel
No one wants to experience that spirit of brokenness before God. Our human pride often gets in our way and it seems that we just don’t want to get right and get back. Many avoid getting to God because they don’t want to be broken.
A. Genesis 32:24-31, (Jacob was broken in the presence of God, never to be the same again, when he later went to Joseph in Egypt he still leaned on his staff.)
1. sought God’s hand before seeking His face
2. met God’s hand before meeting His face
3. broken before he was blessed
God seems to like using broken vessels, they never stay full. Those who are broken and humbled continue to seek after blessings from God, they seek Him, to be in His presence.
Broken vessels also spill out on all those around them. You can not be around someone that God has truly blessed and not be blessed yourself.
God does not just want to live in us, He wants to flow through us