Gen. 28:16 ¶ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”
Do you know what the presence of God is like? The thing about His presence is this, there is always more. If the Lord is infinite there can never be a time when your experience of God is final, His very nature demands that we are on an endless quest to know Him more. That was the goal of Paul’s life, Phil. 3:8,10 – “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ… that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”.
In today’s verse, Jacob was surprised when he found himself suddenly in the very presence of God. It was more real than anything he had ever known before. This would be the defining moment in Jacob’s life. When you touch “Jacob’s ladder” it will be your defining moment as well. John Wesley describes the surprising nature of encounters with the Lord.
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not—God’s manifestations of himself to his people carry their own evidence along with them. God can give undeniable demonstrations of his presence, such as give abundant satisfaction to the souls of the faithful, that God is with them of a truth; satisfaction not communicable to others, but convincing to themselves. We sometimes meet with God there, where we little thought of meeting with him. He is there where we did not think he had been, is found there where we asked not for him.”
So have you had your defining moment with the Lord? Isaiah saw the Lord “high and lifted up” in the temple, for Moses it was the unquenchable burning bush, Ezekiel experienced the wheel in the middle of the wheel, and for Paul it was seeing Jesus on the Damascus Road. Where was your moment when you were surprised by God? For those who know what I mean you have to go back there time and again. I don’t mean physically, I mean visit that place in your heart. You too, like Jacob, can be awakened from your sleep to God’s wonderful adventure for your life.