Astounded and Altered

Astounded and Altered

July 20

Read: GENESIS 28:10-22

Even if you believe in the omnipresence of God, experiencing God’s presence personally is usually life-changing. Jacob was astounded and altered by his own encounter. He saw a two-way connection between earth and heaven and seized it as a means of worship.

Ironically, Jacob became awake to God while he slept. Far from dismissing it as “just a dream,” he took action and responded to God’s identity-expanding promises with vows of devotion. His first offering was his stone pillow. It was an emblem of God’s nearness to him in the dream. Perhaps it was also a gesture of Jacob’s surrender of his dream back to God.

By its nature, faith is a “gate to heaven.” It opens the same sort of two-way connection that Jacob was shown so vividly. Jacob’s ladder is no mere spectacle. It is an entryway into newness of life characterized by responsiveness to the Holy Spirit. Claiming faith as one’s own is an act of worship.

God, bring my dreams into harmony with your promises. AMEN.

About the Author

Scott Burnett is the worship pastor at Newport Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington. In addition to ministry and music, he teaches creativity classes at an art and faith retreat center in the Cascade Mountains called the Grünewald Guild.

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