I know Sunday mornings can be the most hectic and frustrating hours of the entire week. The dog runs away. The youngest spills chocolate milk all over the only clean clothes she has. The middle one can’t find his Bible. Or his glasses. The van’s fuel gauge is two ticks below empty … and on and on. It’s no wonder we need revival.
Last week, we looked at the steps God encouraged Jacob to take to help revive his faith and his relationship with God. (Arise, go to Bethel, live there and make an altar.) Before leaving for Bethel, Jacob made some key preparations. In Genesis 35:2, God instructs him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments.”
1. Put away the foreign gods. After chapter 34, Jacob had a number of foreign slaves to care for, and naturally they brought their gods and their religious practices with them. Jacob ordered an immediate end to that.
We’re far too sophisticated to worship little statues, right? But … we do have our attention drawn away from God. We do pour our energy into other pursuits. We do turn to other people and things for comfort, for reassurance, for fulfillment.
2. Purify yourselves. This is as simple as confessing sins so God can cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
3. Change clothes. In the New Testament, Paul talks about exchanging our righteousness for the righteousness of Christ, depicting it like a change of clothes. Later, in Revelation, white garments represent the righteous acts. Changing clothes signifies changing our behavior.
How do you prepare for worship?