From the Stone of a Cheat to an Honest Altar

by Dave Miller


A close mentor once told me, “My best day will always be tomorrow.” If anything has had impact in my life, even more than what he said, was the evident motivation of why he said it. Looking always to what God has in store, he constantly focused on where God was taking him, rather than living in where he had been. Yet recently, I spoke with an acquaintance that was held back, even only slightly, from the baggage of the past and the feeling of inadequacy.


Both men fear something, one fears God and falling short of God’s potential in his life, the other fears that the future will only be more of the same. One’s fear moves him, the other’s, paralyzes him.


In Genesis 28 God reveals himself to Jacob, the son of Isaac, who was known not only by name, but also in action to be a cheat and a swindler. While sleeping on a rock, God showed him a ladder to heaven and promised him the blessings of his grandfather, Abraham, and his father, Isaac.


In verse 17 it says, “And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” And in response Jacob made a vow, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”

Jacob went to sleep a cheat and awoke a giver. He went to bed on a stone and awoke to an altar of worship. He slept out in the wilderness and awoke in the House of God. What was the change?


God revealed himself to Jacob. Jacob now feared God and started the journey of who he was to become.


If you, as a believer, are not becoming who you already are in Jesus Christ, then you fear the wrong god. Your best day will be tomorrow, because tomorrow you can know God more, becoming more like Christ, but only if you are today more than you were yesterday.