Session 1

What are you willing to do to get out this?

From Genesis: A 7-Week Devotional

Jacob was in a pinch. In Genesis 34, his sons’ revenge had put his whole family in danger, and he wasn’t sure where to go. This was the second time Jacob found himself desperate for God’s help. The last time, Jacob had been running from his older brother whom he tricked out of his inheritance.

If God were like us, He might have rolled His eyes and grumbled, “Really, Jacob? Again?” Instead, God, in His steadfast love and mercy, shows up in Jacob’s hour of need and tells him what to do next: “Go to Bethel.”

Like Jacob, God always gives us a way out when we feel backed in. It just might not be what we want to hear. The way out of your desperate situation might come through a trip to rehab. It might mean making new friends or finding new weekend plans. God doesn’t promise that repentance will be easy, but He does promise it will be worth it.

For Jacob, repentance meant telling his family and entourage to give up their idols and good luck charms. This was a big ask, but Jacob knew the only way to prevent a repeat of the past was to remove anything that could stand between them and God.

When we surrender everything to God, He gives us a new identity and new purpose. That’s what happened when Jacob got to Bethel. God reminded Jacob that he is not who he used to be (“you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel”) and sent him out with a renewed sense of purpose (“be fruitful and increase in number”). The same can be true for you today.

What if the only thing stopping you from realizing your new identity and purpose is an unwillingness to give up the old one?

God can miraculously lift us out of the situation we’re in, but changing our circumstances won’t change our hearts. So more often than not, God invites us to participate in the process of overcoming our problems. How we respond is up to us.


  • Is there a situation you desperately want God to get you out of? Ask God to show you what His way out looks like.
  • Is there anything or anyone you depend on more than God? What step can you take today to remove that dependency from your life?

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