THOUGHTS ON THE LORD’S DAY
”Are you living an alternate lifestyle or an altered life?”
Our spiritual destiny and daily fulfillment are dependent on our hearts being changed and enlarged to receive God’s unfolding purpose for our life and ministry, the reason God gave you life. We are the fruit of someone else’s life. God’s only request of us is that we bear “fruit that remains.”
At the core of our walk of faith is our readiness and desire to meet with God often and build seven altars, so we can live the altered life. Living an altered life means coming to the altar every day before we do anything else.
The altar is a place of surrender, the inner work of the Holy Spirit. It is a place of releasing control, the outer work of spiritual discipline. It is the place of sacrificing my plans and dreams and embracing God’s destiny for why He placed me on this earth.
The word “alter” means, “To change, modify, make different, resulting in a better fit.” Altars are power encounters with God that alter the course of our life and ministry. Abraham had seven of these “power encounters” with God over his forty-year walk of faith that not only altered his life, but the entire course of human history. They form the foundation of all highly effective Christians.
First, the altar of separation, Genesis 12:1-8. This is where our faith is awakened. It is separation, not isolation, the starting point in our walk of faith. It demands absolute confidence and obedience to God’s word. The principle learned here: “The Lord’s commands are rarely accompanied by reasons, but always with promises.”
Second altar, the altar of restoration, Genesis 13:3-4. This is where our faith is tested. Forgiveness, man’s greatest need and highest achievement. It requires walking in a spirit of forgiveness toward yourself and others. The principle: “Forgiveness is always available, but it requires going back.”
Third, the altar of renewed vision, Genesis 13:14-18. This altar is where our faith is restored. Never forget when feeling discouraged that the “Gifts and callings of God are without repentance,” Romans 11:29. The principle: “The sign of God’s forgiveness is that He always has more for us to do.”
Fourth, the altar of provision, Genesis 14:18-24. This altar is where faith is rewarded. Every supernatural provision of God comes first in seed form when the need arises. You are the “fruit” of your father and mother’s union, and you are the provision for someone else’s need. The principle: ”Your seed is not the beginning of your miracle but the evidence that it has arrived.”
Fifth, the altar of revelation, Genesis 15:1-21. This altar is where faith is informed. God has a purpose and a plan for the world and for you. It is based on the covenant He made with Abraham, renewed through Patriarchs, Israel and finally in Christ and given by divine inspiration through His word. The principle: ”God gives fresh revelation as we faithfully build this altar and keep the enemy away from our sacrifice.”
Sixth, the altar of discipline. Here is where faith is matured. You must bring your body under subjection, I Cor. 9:27. You must study and rightly divide God’s Word, I Timothy 2:15. You must rejoice and pray without ceasing, I Thess. 5:16-17. The principle learned here: ”Walking by faith requires a daily cutting away of the flesh, resisting the World’s system.”
Seventh, the altar of surrender, Genesis 22:19. This is where faith is perfected. Trust is the last step on this walk of faith. The principle: ”Obedience is learned at the altar of discipline, but trust is learned at this altar of surrender.” Never forget, obedience is your evidence of commitment, but trust is the evidence of your surrender.
Going to an altar is one thing–building your own altar is quite another. Which altar have you built lately? Which altar do you need to build today?