Often people turn to God because belief in a deity brings comfort in hard times. Sometimes we think serving a deity will grant us entrance into the truly "blessed" life. Jacob- now a man on the run because of his deceit and duplicity- has an encounter with the Divine presence. God comes to him and offers him blessing. But Jacob, instead of surrendering himself to God, tries to use religion in order to manipulate God. In this sermon, we examine all the ways that religion can get in the way of an authentic encounter with God.