Saturday, 2 April 2016

REBUILD YOUR ALTAR



TEXT: 1 KINGS: 18: 30-40
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come over here.” So all the people came to him. He rebuilt the Lord’s altar that had been torn down. 31 Elijah took 12 stones, one for each of the tribes named after Jacob’s sons. (The Lord had spoken his word to Jacob: “Your name will be Israel.”) 32 Elijah built an altar in the Lord’s name with those stones. He also made a trench that could hold 12 quarts of grain around the altar. 33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and put it on the wood.
34 He said, “Fill four jars with water. Pour the water on the offering and on the wood.” Then he said, “Do it again,” and they did it again. Then he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and even the trench was filled with water.
36 When it was time to offer the sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward. He said, “Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make known today that you are God in Israel and that I’m your servant and have done all these things by your instructions. 37 Answer me, Lord! Answer me! Then these people will know that you, Lord, are God and that you are winning back their hearts.”
38 So a fire from the Lord fell down and consumed the burnt offering, wood, stones, and dirt. The fire even dried up the water that was in the trench. 39 All the people saw it and immediately bowed down to the ground. “The Lord is God!” they said. “The Lord is God!”
40 Elijah told them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let any of them escape.” The people seized them, and Elijah took them to the Kishon River and slaughtered them there.
An altar is a sacred place dedicated to worshiping God. It is a meeting place with God it is a place where we call on God and he answers.
In the Levitical days, sacrifices are made to God on altars with the help of priests. Thank God for Jesus that came as one and for all sacrificial lamb that took away the sacrificial system; and the need to go through the Levitical priests to get to God (Hebrew 10:1-18).
Gone are the days when we have to stand before a particular altar to pray or to seek God. The spirit of God resides in every genuine child of God, we are God’s temple (1 Cor 6:19 1 Cor 3:16).
 As a temple of God, the onus is on you to build an altar to God in your heart guard and maintain it. Be sure that there are no unworthy things at your altar; so that the presence of God can be manifested at your altar.
Talking about “rebuilding an altar” there is evidence that there was an altar that was either broken neglected or deserted for one reason or the other. As a child of God, you are the temple of God and your heart is the altar of God.
A broken or desolated altar may be as a backslidden sin unforgiveness or bitterness or heart towards God or man. Have you neglected your altar? Have you given up on studying the word of God? How is our prayer life? Do you feel so weak weary and uninterested about the things of God? If your answer is yes to any of these questions it means that your spiritual altar is either broken or neglected!
If you want God’s attention the broken or the neglected altar of your heart must be rebuilt without any delay.
From our anchor text, Elijah was able to defeat the prophets of Baal because the presence of God was with him. This was made possible because he rebuilt the broken altar of the Lord. He did not just jumped up to start calling on the lord of Elijah to send down fire while the altar is broken, dirty and in shamble. Rather Elijah rebuilt the altar from the ground he removed all the dirt and rubbish he made the altar clean and conducive for God to dwell in.
To rebuild your altar you must do like Elijah did- you must rebuild your altar from the scratch by going back to God in humility and confess your sin and ask for forgiveness and purification so that the lord will start afresh with you. Renewal of vow and covenant is a must for you because you are starting on a new page with God.  All the spiritual exercises that you have neglected must be revisited again. You need God to revive you to be able to have zeal and interest in the things of God like studying the word praying and worshiping God.
When you have retraced your steps back to God; I will advise you to be conscious of your spiritual altar, keep your spiritual fire burning and never neglect your spiritual altar again.
There is no assurance of peace and joy of salvation until you rebuild the altar of God in your heart. Void your heart of every work of the flesh like malice anger, hatred bitterness and so on. Your spiritual altar cannot be rebuilt if you are living in sin or if you are complacent about the things of God. Elijah rebuilt the altar by removing all the rubbish on the altar so also you have to remove everything that is not glorifying God in your life so that God’s presence can be evident in your spiritual altar (your heart). Shalom!

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