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Going Back to Bethel

Back to Bethel
Photo credit: Pexels

There's always a time in our lives when we run to God for help in the face of trouble. In most cases God always helps us but we easily forget God and go our own ways as soon as the problem is over. It's important as Christians for us to understand that our walk with God is determined by the covenant and encounters we have with God. Sometimes in the midst of plenty and abundance many people forget their covenant with God.  This is where our Encounters with God becomes useful. It's easy to forget God's blessings but encounters cannot be forgotten in a hurry. One genuine encounter with God is worth more than a lifetime of religious jamboree. In this article, going Back to Bethel, I will share with you what it means to go back to Bethel, Why God asked Jacob to Go Back to Bethel and what you stand to gain when you return to Bethel among other things. With all that being said, let's get started.

Anchor Scriptures: Gen 28:11-22 and Gen 35:1-7

What Does it Mean to Go Back to Bethel?

Going back to Bethel was not a suggestion or Jacob's own opinion. It was God's Instruction to Jacob at a certain time in his journey in life. Before I tell you what it means to go back to Bethel, let's review what transpired the first time Jacob encountered God at Bethel.

According to Genesis 28:11-22, after Jacob ran away from his father's house for fear of being killed by his twin brother Esau, Jacob arrived the city of Luz late in the evening time and found a certain place to sleep over the night. He used a stone for a pillow and as he slept off, he had a dream. He saw a ladder standing in the place where he kept his pillow with the end of the ladder touching the gates of heaven. He saw the Angels of God ascending and descending through the ladder. God appeared to Jacob in the dream of the night and made some promises to him to be with him and keep him wherever he goes, to increase him and multiply him like the sand in the seashore. Jacob woke up from his sleep and was dumbfounded by the supernatural encounter he had in such a place. He called the name of the place Bethel which means the house of God. Jacob set up an altar for the Lord in that place and made a vow to serve God with his life and to give him a tithe of all. 

So Bethel is a place of Encounter. It is the meeting point of the Immortal with the mortal. It is a place of divine revelation. Bethel is a place of promise. It is a place where God's plans and Purposes are made known to the rightful owners of such destiny. Bethel is a place of dedication where mortals separate themselves to serve God in truth and in Spirit. 

What does it mean to Go Back to Bethel?

To Go Back Bethel means to go back to the place you first met with God. It means to return to your place of first encounter with God. To go back to Bethel means to return to your place of spiritual Empowerment. It means returning back to your foundation with God. Going back to Bethel means going back to God for spiritual renewal.

How can We Return to Bethel?

Jesus during his lifetime on the earth, placed much premium on prayer and separation unto God. Several times, Jesus withdrew himself into a solitary place to pray and to be with God. Going to the mountain to pray was a regular routine in the life and ministry of Jesus. That's exactly how we can return to Bethel. As Christians, we need to have a regular routine of going to the mountain to pray. We need to have special time when we separate ourselves from the buzz and busyness of this world unto God. We need to find a solitary place where we can meet alone with God from time to time. However, it's important to understand that the way Jacob went to Bethel the first time and how he returned the second time was not the same.

The first time Jacob came to Bethel, he was Ignorant of the Lord and His presence in Bethel. But when he returned to Bethel, he came as one who has known God and His Presence in Bethel. Jacob came to Bethel the first time casually and unprepared but when he returned to Bethel, he was deliberate and well prepared in heart to meet God. The first time Jacob came to Bethel, God took him by surprise and revealed Himself to Jacob through dream but the second time Jacob returned to Bethel, it was not a surprise encounter but an appointment and date with God, and as a result God revealed Himself to Jacob in an open vision and spoke to Jacob with an audible voice, and not through dreams. Therefore, returning to Bethel begins with heart preparation and sanctification. This was the reason Jacob commanded his household to put away their foreign gods. You can't go Back to Bethel with any foreign gods. One way to return to Bethel is to repent from our known and unknown sins. We can't go Back to Bethel and still hold our old ways of life tight. Anything that takes the place of God in a man's heart is an idol. There are many people who have alot of idols in their hearts. Bitterness, malice, unforgiveness, fornication, adultery, falsehood, attachment to material things, pride, lust of the eyes, covetousness and greed etc. 

Anyone who wants to go back to Bethel must prepare his or herself properly. You can't carry envy in your heart and return to Bethel. It will amount to labour in futility. You can't keep any secret sin in your heart and return to Bethel. It doesn't work that way. To go back to Bethel, we need to repent from all our evil ways and come clean before God.

Why Did God Ask Jacob to Go Back to Bethel?

There are many reasons why God asked Jacob to return to Bethel. Some of them are

1. God wanted to confirm His Prophecies and validate His word concerning Jacob.

2. God wanted to reveal Himself to Jacob in an open vision beyond the realms of dreams, so Jacob can know Him better and have more confidence in Him.

3. God wanted Jacob to validate and renew his vow and consecration to Him. 

4. God wanted to test Jacob's obedience and loyalty 

5. God wanted Jacob's family to also have a spiritual experience of Bethel Encounter since most of them didn't know the Lord.

 What Do You Gain when You Return to Bethel?

There are many things we stand to gain when we return to Bethel. Some of them are:

1. Spiritual Renewal- One thing going back to Bethel does is that it brings spiritual renewal to the soul and the entire being. When we return to Bethel, our inner man is renewed in the knowledge of God who created him. We come out as changed people. Our perspectives about life is changed completely. The lifestyle and character of Jacob changed after his return to Bethel. 

2. Spiritual Consecration- Another benefit of going back to Bethel is spiritual Consecration. An opportunity to return to Bethel brings us to the altar of consecration. It gives us the opportunity to amend our ways. 

3. Complete Dedication- Back to Bethel gives a man the opportunity to rededicate himself to God and to the service of God. 

4.  Spiritual Empowerment- Back to Bethel brings supernatural empowerment through Prophesies and Covenant blessings. We receive spiritual blessings that money cannot buy. 

5. Clearer Vision- When we return to Bethel, our vision of God becomes more Clearer and His voice becomes more Clearer to us, leading to mission with precision, terminating confusion and guaranteeing divine direction and guidance.

6. More Anointing- One more thing one stand to gain from returning to Bethel is more anointing, fresh fire and greater Glory. When one's spiritual altar is renewed, what follows is a renewal of strength. One of the reasons why many people can't go beyond a certain level in the supernatural is because they don't know how to reinforce their spiritual altar. If you want your spiritual fire to keep burning, then you need to keep rebuilding the altar. When was the last time you went for a retreat? When was the last time you went for a prayer camp outside your usual environment? When was the last time you reinforced your spiritual altar? If your altar is weak, your spiritual life will be weak. A new oil on the altar activates the freshness of the covenant and His encounters in your life. Going Back to Bethel is not only for some selected ministers of the Gospel. It's for every Christian who wants to walk deeper and closer with God.

Prayer Points for Back to Bethel

1. Father, take me back to the place where I first met you in Jesus name.

2. Father, give me a new heart, make me a man after your heart. Whatever I will get that will make you to leave me, may I never get it. Wherever I will go that you can't go with me, may I never reach there in Jesus name.

3. Father, search my heart, invade my innermost thoughts, any idol in my heart, let it be destroyed in the name of Jesus Christ.

4. Father, show me your glory, I want to know you more intimately like never before.

5. Father, reveal yourself to me by your word plainly and not in parables. Show me your ways that I may know you in Jesus name.

6. Father, I receive grace to set myself apart from the world of iniquity unto righteousness and Holiness in Jesus name.

7. Father, I receive grace to walk closer with you on daily basis. Nothing in this world will turn my heart away from following you in Jesus name.

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