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Build an Altar

4 Altars in the Life of Abraham

Genesis 12:1-13:18 – 22:9

Abram was an idol worshipper when the Lord called him to leave the Ur of the Chaldeans and began a journey of faith. By faith he followed the call of God out of ur and to the promised land. He became a father of faith and a friend of God.

He never lived in a house again. He lived in tents. He demonstrated that we are pilgrims in this life always pressing on in our journey.

In the natural we should have a house (Deut 8:12), but in the spirit, live in a tent and maintain an adventurous attitude of an explorer.

Abram stayed on the move that he might possess (by faith) all of the Promised Land for his seed.

- We were once lost, but it was the grace of God that found us and made us His own possessions.
- He cleansed us with His blood, filled us up with His Spirit and sent us on a journey. Faith Journey

Abraham built 4 altars. Each altar represents a phase in our Christian life: A phase in our faith journey.

1. The Altar of Promise = Shechem (Genesis 12:5-7) this is where God promised the land to Abram even to his descendants.

- An altar in the midst of his enemies.
- The enemy’s resistance is real, but what is sealed at the Father’s throne will survive and thrive.
- Testing of our faith is essential to perfect us. Without a test there won’t be a testimony.
- The teacher is silent in a test. The teacher is there but the teacher is silent. You may feel that the Lord has forgotten you, but hang on to the promises of God for they are ’Yea’ and ’Amen’!

2. The Altar of Intimacy = Bethel (Genesis 12:8) (House of God)

- An altar of increased familiarity, of growth in intimacy.
We must continue to grow no matter how long we have been saved.

- Abram was coming to know the Lord as more than just the God of all creation and power. He was finding a more intimate familiarity with the Lord.

- Receiving God’s promises for our lives and power over the enemy is great, but it’s not a substitute for growing in intimacy with Him on a personal level.

- Abram’s faith was not the fruit of formulas and slogans. It was born out of a growing relationship on a personal level.

- An intimate walk with God will produce an impacting work among men. The Lord wants to work in, and with, and for and through yielded vessels!

3. The Altar of No Return = Hebron (Genesis 13:18)

- Abram’s trip to Egypt was a sad commentary on his fear and weakness.
- He built an altar of restoration to his former commitment.

- It’s a time and place where Abram puts down a stake, saying "I’m here where God means for me to be, and there will be no wondering again ever!"
- We must arrive at this altar at some point. That doesn’t mean that there will be no more trials, tests and stumbling.

- But once the stake is driven and once the altar of no return is built in God’s presence, something will transpire in the soul that causes us never to leave the assigned purposes of God, never to drift away in pursuit of anything of other interest again!

4. The Altar of Possession = Moriah (Genesis 22:9)

- It’s one thing to have a given promise and another to have a possessed promise.
- We do not want to live from prophecy to prophecy, but from fulfillment to fulfillment!

Conclusion

Abraham was not practicing religion he was on a lifelong quest to know God. He wanted to know God, walk with God and he became the friend of God. That is the blessing of Abraham, that we would be a friend of God.

The altar is a place where your life can be altered!

An altar is a place of sacrifice, worship, and prayer.

It was through the altar that Abraham maintained his vital connection with the living God.

In the place that you build an altar you invite the presence of God.
A place of Sacrifice, A place of Worship, A place of Prayer.

If you’re going to make it to a place called best you are going to have to build an altar.

The faith life is not merely a strategy for success (although faith will bring success) – the faith life is the practice of the presence of God.

Build yours today and lay yourself there as a sacrifice.