Bethel: The Place of God’s Direction
Bethel is a place where God talks to His people, anoints them, and gives divine direction. The problem is not with God talking to us, but with our listening.
Hear the Voice of God
If you’re having trouble hearing the voice of God, it may be because you are living in the wrong place. God wants us to move out of Shechem (this world system) and into Bethel (the house of God) so he can talk to you and give you direction.
Throughout scripture individuals moved to a place where God could speak to them. John heard the voice of God on the Isle of Patmos, Paul on the road to Damascus, Peter in the prison house and on the rooftop. Three Hebrew children heard God in a burning furnace and Joshua heard from God beside the Jordon river. God speaks to people who are willing to move to Bethel.
Bethel is a Place of Surrender
“Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he talked with Him, even a pillar of stone: and he poured a drink offering thereon, and he poured oil thereon” (Genesis 35:14). In the Old Testament, drink offerings were symbols representing Jesus pouring Himself out in total brokenness and complete surrender. At Gethsemane, Jesus was poured out as a drink offering. There was no more self, all resistance was abandoned, and the battle was finished. A place of complete submission and absolute surrender.
At Bethel, you will move to a place of total brokenness and abandonment. Bethel demands it! Every believer must decide between what they want, and what God wants. Even Jesus faced this delemma at Gethsemane. “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). Brokenness will come at Bethel, but out of your brokenness victory will ensue.
Anointing is Poured out at Bethel
Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Moses was given an anointing oil made according to the apothecary. “And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil’ (Exodus 30:25). This oil was used at the tabernacle and by those designated for the ministry. “And you shall anoint them, as you did anoint their father, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations” (Exodus 40:15). When God called a priest or king, He had Samuel take a horn of oil and anoint them.
Once we are willing to say, “Lord, work out your good pleasure in my life,” then oil comes. Oil was a reminder to Jacob that instead of living in the dirt of Shechem, he could enjoy the blessing of the oil of Bethel. Oil is not only a symbol of the Holy Spirit, but it’s also a symbol of joy and the fulfillment that comes as a result of the Holy Spirit. Once we move to Bethel there is joy, satisfaction and fulfillment. At Bethel, God offers us something better than what the world or Shechem has to offer.
The best way to get people out of Shechem is to tell them that at Bethel, the oil is better. That’s where the oil is. Let’s go up to Bethel where the oil flows freely. Some of you have lived in Shechem long enough. Let’s move to Bethel where God speaks to His people, where there’s complete surrender, where there’s a fresh anointing of the Holy Ghost, and as a result we can experience God’s divine direction for our lives. Bethel is a place where we can, “In all our ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct our paths” (Proverbs 3:6).