The Altar of Our Hearts

It is undeniable.  He wants it all.  Every single part of your being, God wants it all!

Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God… Exo 20:5 MSG

We find this proclamation in the midst of God’s visitation on Mount Sinai.  He is a very jealous God!  He wants nothing to come in the way of our relationship with Him!  The people of God trembled at His presence!  So much so that we see just a few verses later it says this:

18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw [it], they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” 20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” – Exo 20:18-20 NKJV

They were freaking out!  And Moses’ response was perfect, “GOOD! You must fear Him!  He is jealous!  He does not want you to sin! Your sin separates you from Him!” (paraphrased)

God is so jealous that He tests us.  He tests our mind, our hearts, our motivations, every single part of us He will test.  How do we fully know this?  Abraham.

1 Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only [son] Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey…he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. …

7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!…”Look, the fire and the wood, but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only [son], from Me.”

13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind [him was] a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. – Gen 22:1-3, 7-13 NKJV

Moses is recording this account, and He writes something very interesting:

12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only [son], from Me.” – Gen 22:12 NKJV

Did God really not know if Abraham feared Him?  The all knowing, all being, no beginning and no end God.  I believe that the test was for Abraham and Isaac’s sake.  God already knows the condition of our heart!

1 …O LORD, You have searched me and known [me]. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For [there is] not a word on my tongue, [But] behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. – Psa 139:1-4 NKJV

God wants us to be assured of our Faith in Him!  God wants to embolden our hearts to know, that we know, that we know we fully belong to Him!  That we have fully given ourselves to Him!

God will probably not ask you to go build a physical altar and sacrifice your children, but He may be nudging your heart to build an altar in your heart to lay down and sacrifice those things that have taken the place of Him.  Or to sacrifice those things that have taken your attention away from Him!

Do you really trust and fear Him?

Holy Spirit, I ask that you would come now and speak to my heart.  Would you reveal to me what it is that you want me to lay down on the altar.  Father, I do not want anything to come in between my heart and yours.  You are the Great Provider and I will trust in You alone.  

In Jesus Name, Amen


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