Then Jacob said to his household, and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, change your garments. – Genesis 35:2
It’s no small thing to seek an encounter with the Almighty God! God wants to show us His glory and bless us with His presence, but there’s things that we must do on our side to prepare ourselves to meet with Him.
1) Put away the foreign gods among us
These represent the things that we trust in,look to, or hope in that are not God. Sometimes these idols can become so much a part of our life that to lose them would appear to bring us a great deal of loss. But God will not share His glory with another. If we want to experience the fullness of His power and presence, it means we have to get rid of all substitutes.
2) Purify ourselves
This means that we deal with everything within us that keeps us from the presence of God. We confess all our sin, we forgive all our enemies. We hold nothing inside ourselves that is contrary to Him. We allow the Holy Spirit to move across our hearts and cleanse us in any area that we need cleansing.
3) Change our garments
Once we deal inwardly with sin, we need to deal outwardly with habits and ways of doing things that are old and tired. Often, just changing the way we do things can be a vital ingredient to seeing change manifest in our lives. Old clothes can feel comfortable and we can have a sense of identity with them. But we have been given new garments which represent our new identities. We may have been sinners, but now we are saints. We may have been powerless, but now we are powerful.