Sometimes the most powerful truths in life are very simple. This was the case with God's instructions to Jacob after a long season of turmoil and turbulence in his life. God gave Jacob a simple but profound principle:
Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” — Genesis 35:1 (NIV)
God said: “Jacob, it's time to settle and build!”
Here's the life-changing principle:
Settling is a key to building.
You can't build anything significant until you settle somewhere into something. Settling is the first step in building anything and everything that is significant and meaningful in life.
The word “settle” means “to fix, resolve, conclude, come to rest, close out, secure, and establish.” Settling can't happen without commitment. To “commit” is to give oneself unreservedly to a person, activity, place or purpose. Commitments create settledness. Settledness provides the spiritual and emotional environment for trust and constructive contribution. It puts us in a position to grow.
Part of the challenge of our culture is it's unsettled nature. Unsettledness is accompanied by discontentment and restlessness. These attitudes and emotions keep people continually prowling for something “better.” They're a part of the “grass is greener” syndrome. They keep people from putting down deep roots. They keep people “on the run.” When you're unsettled, you're miserable, and you usually try to make other people miserable too, because “misery loves company!”
What a great day it is in a person's life when they settle — when they settle their relationship with God; settle their life purpose and calling; settle in their profession or career; settle into their marriage; settled into a church and community; settle into good and godly relationships; settle the restlessness in their spirit. Suddenly they're in a position to build a fruitful life and an honorable legacy. Settledness is a wonderful thing!
What do you need to settle in your life? When you settle, you can build!