Many things in churches across America are being thrown out or forgotten because they are “old-fashioned.” One of these things is the altar! It used to be that people would flood the altar after the Pastor preached the word of God and seek to change something in their life. They would bring their family to the altar and pray for God’s protection over them. Many great things happened at the altar in years past, but what about today? Is it still relevant?
Of course it’s still relevant! A majority of big decisions happen at the altar! Countless people get saved at the altar, bring their burdens to the altar, and surrender their life to full time service at the altar! It is a place where serious decisions are made!E
Exodus 20:24 “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.”
Just look at Abraham’s life as an example. No one can deny that Abraham was truly blessed by God. What was his secret? The altar! In Genesis chapter 12-13, we see a common pattern in Abraham’s life. Everywhere he went, he either built an altar or he returned to an altar he had already built (12:8, 13:4, and 13:18). Abraham had it figured out; the altar is a very important tool for the Christian to use! In fact, there was only one place mentioned in these chapters that he didn’t build an altar… When he was out of the will of God in the land of Egypt.
A famous preacher once said, “There are two reasons you should go to the altar… 1) Because God spoke to you during the message 2) Because God didn’t speak to you during the message.” What a powerful quote! If God speaks to you about something, get it taken care of. But if He isn’t speaking to you about anything, you need to get to the altar and figure out why!
Most Christians are either…
1) Not using the altar – too many people have the mindset of “I can just pray to God in my seat.” Which is true… but not very serious! If it’s something you want to be serious about, go to the altar and get it taken care of.
Or 2) Not using the altar correctly – a decent number of good Christians fall into this category. They will go to the altar worried about something, pray about it, and return to their seat worried about it. That’s not what an altar is for! An altar is a place where people used to bring something for God (a sacrifice), put it on the altar, and leave it there. Too many of us are bringing what we want to sacrifice to the altar and then bringing it with us when we leave. You aren’t supposed to return from the altar with the same things you brought… it’s supposed to help lighten your load!
The altar is a huge tool for Christians to take advantage of. Are you using it to its fullest potential? I want to encourage everyone to go to the altar and pray to God, asking Him what you can change in your life… every service!