“Altars are a memorial to the place where God meets us. Altars represent the occasion and place where we have had a personal encounter with God. We may not always be able to make a physical altar, but there can be one established in our hearts.” 1Pastor Jack Hayford
Deep call to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”2Ps 42:7-9 NIV
Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell. Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.3Ps 43:3-4 NIV
My Prayer: Lord, even in my brokenness my flesh resists your call to die to self. I want to be transformed, please give me the grace and will to lay my life down. Let my heart and lips proclaim, “not my will but thine be done”. Please help me in my time of need, I’m not worthy, help me because of who you are. I willing lay down on the alter; please meet me here. Amen.
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.4Pr 4:18 NIV
To turn towards God is to press into Him; to hold on tightly and embrace every moment of His presence.2Quote: (Screwtape, a senior demon instructing his junior) “The present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which our Enemy has of reality as a whole: in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them. The future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most completely temporal part of time — for the past is frozen and no longer flows, and the present is all lit up with eternal rays. Hence nearly all vises are rooted in the future. Gratitude looks to the past and love to the present; fear, avarice, lust, and ambition look ahead. Do not think lust an exception. When the present pleasure arrives, the sin is already over. We want a whole race perpetually in pursuit of the rainbow’s end, never honest, not kind, nor happy now, but always using as mere fuel wherewith to heap the alter of the future every real gift which is offered them in the present. ” C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
An influence must be different from that which it influences.3Isa 55:6-9 AV Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Last night I was crying out to the Lord for help, pleading with Him to not delay. One man’s comment, at church, about keeping the old man alive –not letting him die was like a goad in my side. The Lord has continued to expand on that; I find myself undone before the Lord with no human strength to continue. I can find no refuge. Worship has lost it’s appeal; there is a chasm between me and the Lord. I feel like an ant being followed by the focused beam of a magnifying glass. There is no rest. I feel I am once again at the point where the Lord is saying, “Choose this day whom you will serve.”4Jos 24:15 NIV “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” This seems to be an all or nothing moment which reminds me of the disciples response, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”2Joh 6:66-68 AV From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. The seriousness of the moment reminds me of Jesus’ statement, “No-one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”3Lu 9:62 NIV Jesus replied, “No-one who puts his hand to the plough and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” Is this not evidence that He is calling me to service, is He not offering me the desire of my heart, why am I resisting? What worldly things hold so much value in my mind that I won’t let them go? Am I the monkey with his hand in the jar held bound by what he’s not willing to let go of?
My Prayer: God, please help me. Give me your grace to let go of everything that is not you. I don’t want to be defined by the things of this world, I want my identity to be in You, Jesus. God, You have searched me, You know what stands in the way, please give me revelation and the grace to overcome. I am lost with out You. This is so much bigger than me, I know I am unable to accomplish what You have set before me.4Mr 10:27 AV And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. I am fearful of failure and fearful of rejection. Forgive me for setting myself up as an idol by trusting in myself. Forgive me for not trusting You, for not receiving Your love to the fullest. In the name of Jesus, I renounce fear and it’s hold on me. I receive Your love, Your mercy and Your grace to overcome. I proclaim Your lordship over my life and submit to You. Teach me to wait on You, Lord.5Isa 40:31 AV But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Let the overflow of my heart be obedience to You, that I would be made perfect in love. I desire that You, Lord Jesus, and I would be one; like You and the Father are one.6Joh 17:20-23 AV “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. That where You go I go, what You say I say, that I might enter into Your rest. Father God, thank you for not consuming me, but in Your mercy, Your compassion and Your grace expressed in Your Son Jesus and through Your Holy Spirit revealing to me what stands in the way between me and You. Thank you for helping me from Glory to Glory that Your name will be greatly praised!72Co 3:18 AV But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Onward: I continue to travail. This hardened heart of mine is preventing me from fully embracing the Lord and the kingdom of heaven. I trust that God is working and preparing me during this time of unrest. I find myself disconnected from everything going on around me. Is this a time of purification so the dross will rise to the surface to be ladled off by the Lord?8Pr 25:4 NIV Remove the dross from the silver, and out comes material for the silversmith My stubbornness prolongs my travail. Is He stirring things in the depth of my soul to set me free?9Isa 1:25 NIV I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. When I see them on the surface will I let them go? Have I already removed my hand from the plow? I still have hope although despair is at the door. Is He not the one illuminating my failures because He desires to cover them with His love?10Job 12:22 NIV He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light.11Pr 10:12 NIV Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs. Did He not say that if I confess my sins He is faithful to forgive them?121Jo 1:9 NIV If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. My resistance is buffeting me, causing the turbulence of unrest.13Re 3:15-16 NIV I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Why am I so stubborn? Where does it come from? When will I say enough and agree with Him?