When Jacob was fleeing from his brother Esau, who was seeking an opportunity to kill him, he went to sleep in the desert with a rock for his pillow.

 During the night he had a dream of a ladder between heaven and earth with angels ascending and descending on it.

 The Lord spoke to Jacob from the top the ladder and reiterated the promise He had given to his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.

 God would give him the land he had laid down to sleep on, his descendants would be like the dust of the earth and in his seed, Jesus, all the nations of the earth would be blessed.

 God told him, “I am with you, I will keep you, wherever you go, I will bring you back to this landand I will not leave you until I have done what I promised”

 Jacob awoke from his sleep and said “Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it. How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven”

 Jacob was asleep in the desert, a fugitive and an exile from the land and  inheritance that was his.

 He had forgotten who he was, Jacob had become a schemer, a deceiver and it was only when he had a revelation of God and awoke from his dream that and began to remember his true identity.

 This was more than an awakening, this was a reawakening to God’s presence, purpose and plan for his life.

 Jacob’s encounter with God was a defining moment and turning point, he was reawakened, and would never be the same again.

 He called that place Bethel, meaning “house of God”, which had previously been called Luz meaning, “separation or departure”

 God turned a place of separation and departure into a place where He met with Jacob and reawakened him to His purpose and plan. 

 God turned Jacob’s sleep in the desert into a place of reawakening to God’s awesome presence.

 God’s purpose has forever been that His house would a place of awakening and reawakening.

 Whatever desert we may be in, whatever may be dormant in our lives, whatever deviation our journey may seem to have taken, wherever we may have lost our way, God is a God who can awaken and reawaken every area of our lives and His house will always be central to that.

 May God’s House this year, be for each one of us, a place of awakening and reawakening, just as it was for Jacob all those years ago. May our declaration be like his,  “Surely God’s presence is here, how awesome is this place!”