In the conflicted life of the patriarch Jacob we find significant exchanges with God in various places. One night he was camped out on a journey and had a dream where he saw a ladder between earth and Heaven. Angels travelled up and down. He had an insightful dream that showed that God was active in connecting His realm to ours.

From his campsite on the outskirts of the Canaanite town of Luz, Jacob was deeply changed in his relationship with the Almighty.

Genesis 28:
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

God was in this place and I was not aware of it. Jacob was discovering that God is present beyond our understanding of a location. A ‘run-of-the-mill average place’ was actually an ‘awesome place’. A place that already had a name and reputation received a new identity as God’s presence made the difference. The place took on new significance and became Jacob’s place of worship. He marked the place by worshipping God there. Bethel – the house of God.

When we look intently into the place we are, we find that every place can be a Bethel. God will change our perception of place by helping us to see where His Kingdom is emerging.