Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem
The time is now to decide what you will take into your future with you, a deeper relationship with God or the baggage that has hindered such a relationship. I implore you to make the decision to leave the baggage behind.
In Genesis 35:1 God instructed Jacob to go up to Bethel. The name Bethel means House of God and signifies the presence of God. So God was telling Jacob to dwell in His presence. At the time when Jacob got the instruction he was living at Shechem, which means back, highlighting that he was distant from God. In response to God’s Instruction Jacob told his household what he was commanded to do and that they should put away their gods, be clean and change their clothes. What Jacob was communicating to his family was that they were going up to Bethel, and to do so they had to leave some things behind. He identified exactly what they needed to leave behind – their gods but critical to them doing that they would have to “change their clothes” or repent. It was not possible for them to go to dwell at Bethel (in God’s presence) and make it business as usual. Business as usual would only keep them at Shechem.
God wants you at Bethel, but to go there you have to leave your baggage behind. Your baggage is anything that is keeping you from a deep relationship with God. Whatever it is, it is not worth it. Having identified what your baggage is, it is then needful for you to decide not to carry them with you in the future in the same way that Jacob and his family did. They took everything that they had previously put above their relationship with God, their strange gods and gold earrings, and buried them under an Oak tree at Shechem. The Oak tree signified the strength of their resolve not to return to those ways.
Life Application: Identify what hinders a closer walk with God and make a strong resolve to leave behind.
Prayer: Lord, whatever it takes to maintain a good relationship with you, I will do because better is one day in your house than a thousand elsewhere. I commit my thoughts, my ways and all that I am to you, in Jesus name, amen.