Extract taken from “The Master The Wise & The Lazy” by Pastor Bayo Adeyemi
Chapter 3 Process & Progress
Jacob going back to Bethel
Genesis 35: 1 – 3
And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
This was a unique case in the sense that God told Jacob to go back to the place he first met him. Bethel was a unique place and a lot of importance was attached to it in the life of Jacob. It was in Bethel that Jacob set up a pillar and poured oil upon it; he said, how dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven (Genesis 28:17). He called the place Bethel meaning “house of God”.
The house of God is the place where God blesses the saints. As far as Jacob was concerned, the fulfilment of his destiny was attached to him going back to Bethel. There was to be no argument about it. A lot of young people today will stress the application of common sense. “You don’t need God to direct you when it comes to that, just use your common sense.” The result of such an approach normally gives temporary relief to daunting problems.
Solutions to challenges are attached to our willingness to obey God when He speaks to us. One of my mentees who is currently in University always wanted to leave home whenever a disagreement occurred with his dad. This went on for a period of five to six years and every attempt by family, friends, pastors and church leaders to suppress the situation was to no avail. I made him realise that disobedience to parents carries serious repercussions as we are commanded to Honour our parents. On this particular night, I told him to go back home. At the time of writing this book, this young man has developed a special relationship with his dad, and the idea of leaving home has gone. You cannot have it both ways, Jacob chose to go back to Bethel and God appeared unto him and blessed him there.
Genesis 35: 9 – 11
And God appeared unto Jacob again, when he came out of Padanaram, and blessed him. And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.
Joseph in prison
You may find yourself in unpleasant situations where the people around you are not encouraging. Those people should not become the determining factor in the progress of your ministry because God is the giver of the ministry. When we started the ministry “New Inspiration” lots of unpleasant things were said about us. They were untrue and degrading but the Lord showed me the story of Joseph. I spent four weeks just studying the account of Joseph’s life and how God sustained him in the midst of his brother’s persecutions.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.
And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
Persecution at times can be used by God to refine us. Jesus was called names and they even said he had a demon. When Joseph finally came face to face with his brothers he said;
Genesis 45: 4 – 5
Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Joseph saw forgiveness as a process needed before the attainment of God’s favour. In every trial and percussion I pray that you will receive strength to carry on doing God’s will in Jesus name.