04 January 2012

Alter the Altar

Alter /vChange or cause to change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.
Altar /n/ A table or flat-topped block used as the focus for a religious ritual, esp. for making sacrifices or offerings to a deity.

And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob. Genesis 35:1-5
As we enter the new year, it's a time to reflect upon our habits as a believer and see if there are areas where we can adjust or change.  Is there a devotion that could be greater?  Is there an area of faith that needs feet put to it?

Jacob led his people to dedicate themselves to God.  First, they had to get rid of all the idols [mess] and be clean [a new dedication] and change their garments [a concerted effort].  Then they buried the gods [former practices] and the jewelry [unity with those who have same bad habits].  

Then they journeyed.

It takes time to get from one 'altar' to another.  They should be in different places.  That's not to say that you should pick up and move your whole household just because you've decided to dedicate yourself to more devotional time.  But the 'where you are' should be different.  It must be if you don't want to be confused about which altar to go to.  They left where they were because then they couldn't dig up the idols again.  Very. Important.  And let's not condemn ourselves if it seems we're without an altar for a bit.  God will protect you during your journey when He notes that your heart is right - and headed in the right direction - toward Him.

So, what is it for you?

Whose altar do you have now that's just not quite working for you?

What idols do you need to bury?

What altar should we build now?

{new devotions

{faithfulness to the body of believers

{more time for prayer

{greater giving

{praying as a family

Happy Building!

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