Visiting Israel was one of my favorite trips ever! As we toured the city of Jerusalem, everything came alive as we entered the temple. There is the Gate of Jerusalem, the entranceway into the holy city, where Jesus entered and shall enter again. He shall return, once again, through the Golden Gate, the Gate of Mercy which has been closed up. He declared long ago, “Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who can stand in His holy place?” (Psalm 24: 3)
Only the pure in heart who the Lord has entered. He has been desiring to come in. How does He do that? “Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of Glory MAY come in.” (Psalm 24: 9) He wants access to our hearts, just as He had access to the city or sanctuary.
Right attitudes and motives indicate those pure in heart. Jesus has said, “The pure in heart will see God.” (Matthew 5: 8)
Our attitude means everything! “Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.”(Genesis 31: 2) Jacob knew it was time to leave.
- Separation is sometimes of God. “The Lord said to Jacob, go back to the land of your Father’s and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” (Genesis 31: 3)
- If God directs you back home it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not progressing.
Laban had been stealing from Jacob and cheating him. Whatever was stolen from us, God is able to give it back. Keep your vow to the Lord and let your “yes be yes”, and your “no be no.” “So do whatever God has told you.” (Genesis 31: 16)
If God tells us to leave, don’t hold on to anything from that place. Rachel held on, actually, stole, a worthless idol that Jacob did not know of. She was not yet free of her pagan background.
- Is there anything that we are “holding on to” that is not of the Lord?
Rachel was holding on to an idol for protection; while the rich young ruler was holding on to his wealth. His wealth was ruling his heart! When Jesus tried to explain to the disciples of his upcoming death, their hearts could not yet receive that, for it had been hidden from them. So I asked:
- Do the things that we hold on to, that are hidden, prevent us from seeing what God wants us to see?
The blind beggar asked Jesus “to see.” Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” (Luke 18: 42)
- Whatever we receive from Jesus is not just for us, it’s for others to see. “When all the peoples SAW it, they also praised God.” (Luke 18: 43)
(Psalm 24, Genesis 31, Luke 18: 18-43, Paraphrased & Modified)
UNBROKEN LOVE SERIES
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