God’s Guidance for Change
A place of blessing is no reason why you should continue there for ever. God often signals to you through different means and methods to let you know that you should go to a new place or sphere of work. As you look at how God dealt with Jacob as he was with Laban, you can learn a few important lessons about how God guides you to the desired change.
First of all, God remains true to the plans he has for you. As Jacob fled from Esau, he stopped at a place for the night where he a dream. God promised him that day that he’ll bring Jacob back to the same land even though he was fleeing to another place at that time (Genesis 28:15). You need to keep in mind this fact even as you find Jacob being blessed by God in the new place where he marries, has children and gets great wealth and livestock (Genesis 30:43).
Secondly, there are several signals that come to you when God desires you to move. In the first instance, Jacob talks to Laban when Rachel the wife he loved gave birth to Joseph. Now Joseph’s birth came after a long wait. But somehow Jacob sensed that it was time to go back. See Genesis 30:25 which starts off saying, “After Rachel gave birth to Joseph . . .”
This is more important than it seems. God was looking far ahead even though no one else knew about God’s plan. Remember what God told Abraham. He was told that his descendants will be slaves in Egypt for four hundred years. But before the sons of Abraham could go to Egypt Joseph had to reach there first so that God’s plan for his people could be done best. Now Joseph was born. Little did Jacob know how great a role his beloved son will have in the salvation plan God had for his people!
When God wants you to move, there will be some signalling in your heart. The truth is that you’ll not realize much of the significance of your move. You’ll come to know that later even as Jacob came to know of it when he met his son Joseph in Egypt and who was then governor of the land.
Thirdly, when there is some delay to the move, God sends multiple signals in a flurry so that there is no mistake that it is time to move. Because Jacob increased in wealth, Laban’s sons started speaking against him (Genesis 31:1). Then Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude towards him had changed (Genesis 31:2). Above all, God spoke to Jacob saying, “Go back to the land of your fathers . . .” (Genesis 31:3). See, God did not forget to repeat his earlier promise, “And I will be with you.”
When God spoke to him, Jacob called his wives and spoke with them. They are in agreement with what Jacob told them and encourages him to obey what God had told him to do (Genesis 31:16).
Jacob lost no time. He fled from Laban. It is interesting to note how Jacob came to that land fleeing from his brother. Now he is fleeing from this land to back where he came from; this time he was fleeing from his father-in-law.
The important lesson from this Scripture portion is that God’s guidance for change comes to you through multiple signals. These signals will never contradict God’s promises to you but will be in accordance with God’s plan and purpose for your life. Again, much of the larger blessing that God has in store for you as a result of this change will not be known to you until much later in life.
Therefore be alert to the signals that God sends to your life when it is time to change. Remember that a place of blessing is no resting place when God asks you to move.