Understanding The Key To Change
"And God said to Jacob, Arise, go
Up to Bethel, and live there." (Gen. 35:1)
This word today is directed to the believer who wants the keys that open the doors to change. Lately, we are hearing many prophetic words coming from tested sources regarding "transition" and "change." In seeking the LORD and asking for wisdom and revelation, much has been revealed to me about the changing of the guard, transition and shifting. We see one shift happening right here in our nation through the election of our new president. Change can be exciting. On the cautionary side, some may be aching for change so desperately that they are tempted to take drastic measures to obtain that change.
In both man and woman, believer and non-believer, there seems to be an explosive cry for change. We can go to great lengths to change the external world we live in. We can move into a new home, buy new clothes, have a makeover, lose or gain weight; yet still feel empty, void of true peace and contentment. The change the LORD desires for us is the change within our minds. This can only happen one way, and that way takes much diligence and discipline.
Effective change requires motion and action. To change beneficially, we must start with something small. God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel, and live there" (Gen. 35:1). Jacob had to take this first step. He had to get up and stir himself to action. The Apostle Paul instructed his spiritual son, Timothy, to stir himself. "Wherefore I put you in remembrance that YOU stir up the gift of God, which is in you by the putting on of my hands" (2 Tim. 1:6). The gifts of God in our lives are as logs in a fireplace. If the fire is not tended and occasionally re-kindled, it can die out. For some, you may only have a tiny ember left in your life, and no energy to stir the ashes or re-kindle the flame. Today the breath of the LORD is here to re-fire your flame and breathe His stirring breath upon your weary soul.
From Shechem To Bethel
Jacob had been living for many years in Shechem (the place of burdens). At a certain time, the voice of the LORD called him to return to the place where he had a dream. In his dream he saw a ladder that reached into heaven. This ladder connected heaven and earth and is the place where angels ascend and descend. The ladder is Jesus Christ, The Messiah. In the place Jacob called Bethel, "The House of the LORD," the LORD told him He was with him, and would keep him wherever he went (Gen. 28:15).
The LORD promises all of us that He is with us and will never leave us, that He is our ever present helper (Heb. 13:5-6). Perhaps, because of many years of trials and burdens, you may feel the LORD HIMSELF has abandoned you, forgotten you and left you in a hard place. The thought of taking a step out of that trouble/Shechem, may seem exhausting or even impossible. The carnal mind is hesitant to change because of fear of the unknown; a false security with familiarity, and the fear of not being able to manage the change. Change, in fact, requires us to think differently.
Change Your Garments
Once Jacob takes the first step out of Shechem, he is able to advise his family and company to follow him. He gives them these instructions:
- They are admonished to "put away strange gods among them" (Gen. 35:2). Some of those strange gods were the belief that amulets and charms could protect you from evil and even cause you to know the future. Isaiah the Prophet warned strongly against these practices. "In that day the LORD will take away the beauty of the ankle-bracelets, and the headbands, and the crescents, the pendants, and the bracelets, and the veils; the headdresses, and the leg ornaments, and the sashes, and the houses of the soul, and the amulets" (Isa. 3:18-20).
- "Be clean and CHANGE your garments" (Gen. 35:2). Change is the Hebrew word chalaph. Chalaph means to be pierced, changed, altered, renewed, to sprout. Are your garments soiled from hard testing, trials, disappointment and discouragement? Is the temptation to doubt God shouting in your ears?
How To Change
The first thing we must do to start the process of change is to take the first step. Abraham took his first step when he left the Ur of the Chaldeans. He obeyed the voice of the LORD by faith and walked into the world of the unknown. He totally trusted the LORD and His ability to lead him forward. Moses took the first step into becoming a deliverer by obediently taking off his shoes. David became a King by first obeying his father's instruction to check on his brothers' welfare.
Jacob is told to ARISE, GET UP and DWELL/ABIDE. Jesus says the same thing, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me" (John 15:4).
The key to change is found in the Hebraic understanding of Isaiah 40:31. They that wait (qavah) upon the LORD shall renew/chalaph their strength. Qavah is a beautiful Hebrew word meaning to be twisted together strongly like a rope. For us to change and develop strength of character in our lives we must bind and tie our lives to Jesus. We must have a personal, face-to-face relationship without performance or any form of insincerity. In His presence, you are free to be yourself, and in that place, He changes everything in and around you that needs to be changed. Those who are bound to a relationship with the LORD WILL chalaph/change. This change brings a renewing of life, a sprouting of hope, and the fruit of your labors that you have been longing for.
We desire change, Lord. May we twist our lives together with You in the secret place and allow You to change all that needs to be changed.
I pray renewal of strength for all of you. May you come out of your trouble/Shechem and enter into your Bethel, the place of abiding with Him.
Blessings and love,