Summary: To be able to handle all the junk you, Satan, and others pile on you, this will help you to understand HOW to have spiritual leverage
Come to the Altar
Last week I talked to you about adding sticks to your life…
To be able to handle all the junk you, Satan, and others pile on you
This week will be a follow up… helping you to understand HOW
How to add spiritual leverage
There are many things you can do
Prayer, bible study, fasting, meditation,
Today I will be talking about the starting place
What comes FIRST… the foundation for the rest
What is An Altar?
Depends on whom you ask!
An altar can also be something constructed for the sole purpose of offering sacrifices. This is the most common usage of the term.
Men of God in the Bible built Altars for God after He had done things for them like Moses (in Exo. 17:15) Abraham, Isaac, Solomon e.t.c.
For a Jew it might be a structure where animals are sacrificed.
For most Baptists; it is either this stage… or the communion table.
Let me read you this and I think you will understand what I mean when I say ALTAR
(((Read “the Living Room” from “My Heart Christ’s Home)))
For the purposes of this sermon, I am defining an altar as:
a personal means of communication and fellowshipping with God. It is otherwise called ‘Quiet Time’. This is a time you have assigned/committed/set aside for God to meet with Him on ‘one-on-one’ level or basis. It comes with a specific time at which you seek the face of God through worship, praises, thanksgiving and prayer. The essence is to hear and talk to God; it ensures a direct link with God. Lk 5:16
While you are in that place, several things need to happen.
I want to look at several altars from scripture and see what we can learn about altars and what can/should happen there.
1 The Altar is the place where God IS (Rev 8:1-3)
An Altar symbolizes holiness… there is something more holy about a place when it is God’s place, your special place for meeting with God.
When you are there… it is easier to sense the holiness and purity of God
It makes us more aware of our un-holiness
And the altar makes us more aware of the presence of God
When we get in that place… we can feel God
I know…God is omnipresent… everywhere… at the same time
So… it is true you can meet God anywhere
Driving – in bed – at the lake
True—God is everywhere… but you cannot sense Him as well
You can have your quiet time anywhere
That is secluded, no distractions, available daily
But meeting at the same place… at the same time… makes the place and time special
It makes them AN ALTAR
So… the altar is the place where God is
2. The altar is a place for sacrifice/offering (Gen 22:7-9)
I don’t know why, but GOD CHOOSES to meet us, speak to us and hear from us… (MOST OFTEN) at our altar
If you look in the OT, it was at the altar that God revealed most about Himself… his likes, his desire, his character
In fact; if you remove the altar experiences… we would know very little about God.
But one thing we learned from them is: the altar is special
In this text: Abraham did not kill a lamb and offer it on a pile of sticks
He built an altar! THEN… he offered the sacrifice there
An altar was not a pile of sticks thrown down wherever you were or wherever was easy
An altar is a PREPARED PLACE... a place prepared, and set apart, for that purpose
A prayer spoken in some place is not ALTAR… any more than a pile of sticks someplace
I BELIEVE: God would not have accepted Abraham’s offering on a pile of sticks back at home
God showed Abraham where to build the altar…
HE WILL SHOW YOU TOO
The altar teaches us more about our offering…
It teaches PERSONAL EXAMINATION
When Abraham or David was bringing an offering to God, they examined the animal closely. It could not be just any animal. It had to meet certain standards in order to be an acceptable offering… to be accepted by God
Male, clean, unblemished, unbroken, healthy, certain age
When we come to our altar… we do not come just as we are… and offer whatever we have, whatever we please
God told the Jews what animals were acceptable
God has told us what is acceptable, what He requires ((BIBLE))
We need to have an out-of-body experience
Lay our offering (life) on the altar and look
Step back and examine our life, our conduct, our habits, character
Examination makes us aware of our sin, our deformities, our spots