The Pastor’s Quill
AT THE ALTAR….
By Pastor Tim Hodge
Jan 21, 2018
Having to plead with someone to come to the altar is like having to beg a person with a critical wound to go to the Emergency Room. Having to plead with someone to come to the altar is like having to beg a starving man to sit down at a buffet. Having to plead with someone to come to the altar is like having to beg a passenger in a plane to please put on a parachute when the engine has died at 20,000 feet.
Why am I so emphatic about this? Because, my beloved friends, everything we need is found in the security of humbly surrendering ourselves at the altar of God. Our situations may not change immediately, but God can change us – our thoughts, faith, expectations, hope, and level of peace – that can be altered in a millisecond. I’ve said it before and it deserves saying again, “LIVES ARE ALTERED AT THE ALTAR OF GOD!!!”
Last Sunday, I spontaneously shared with you some revelation downloads I’d received the previous Friday during our “MEN’S NIGHT OF PRAYER”. For the sake of you having them as a resource I want to share them here.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE GOD MET / MEETS MAN AND MAN MET / MEETS GOD. Moses and Aaron met with God at the Ark of the Covenant – which was an altar. When Abraham set up camp, it is often said one of the first things he would do was build and altar.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE SACRIFICES TOOK / TAKES PLACE AND ATONEMENT WAS MADE. Altars are not simply strategic geographical locations; they are strategic PRACTICAL locations. Altars are places where something has to die. They are places of surrender. They are places of repentance. How does that affect us in the New Testament? Note the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” The cross was an altar and Jesus was the sacrifice for our redemption.
THE ALTAR WAS WHERE UNDENIABLE AND RELENTLESS MERCY WAS / IS FOUND. See 1 Kings 1:50-52; Hebrews 4:16.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE MIRACLES ARE RELEASED. Elijah prayed FIRE down at the altar and a three-year drought was ended. As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, Isaac, God stopped him and from that vantage point Abraham spotted a ram caught in a thicket.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE SURRENDER TOOK / TAKES PLACE. Young Isaac surrendered to his elderly father by allowing Abraham to tie him up and place him upon an altar. Jesus surrendered to the altar of the cross.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE BURDENS WERE / ARE LIFTED. Abraham had the burden of sacrificing his son lifted at the altar. Elijah had the burden of backslidden Israel returning to God at that fiery altar.
THE ALTAR WAS / IS WHERE RESTORATION TOOK / TAKES PLACE. On the altar of the cross, Jesus restored all that man had defaulted on from the original sin of Adam in the garden.
Personally, I simply must LIVE at the altar. I can’t function without it. I am completely dependent upon each of these attributes I’ve shared concerning the altar. When I was crippled for an entire year, I hobbled my way to the altar. I would kneel there or lay across the altar and be in agonizing pain. I knew that was my only hope. I could have reasoned with myself and said, “I’m too sick to go to church today.” When the doctors gave the verdict that I’d be like that the rest of my life, I continued to make my way to the altar. I knew I’d find God and my miracle there AND I DID!!! Hallelujah!!!
When I’ve faced extreme seasons of hardship in life, I have made my way to the altar. Folks, meet me AT THE ALTAR! There is a lot you can experience there.