Nov. 10, 2001
In 1 Kings chapter 18, we read of how the mighty Prophet Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to call down fire upon their altar, and how Elijah built an altar unto the name of the Lord. The prophets of Baal prophesied and jumped on their altar and raised quite a stink for a good portion of the day, and so, when it came time for Elijah to call upon God, he found that what the scripture calls "the altar of the Lord" was broken down. Therefore, we read in verse 30 the following: "And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down."
Elijah took twelve stones and built an altar unto God, a place for the fire of God to consume a well pleasing sacrifice unto the Lord. However, before Elijah could erect the new, he had to repair the old. Lately I've been hearing the Lord saying to repair the old altar that has been broken down. Do you remember way back when, when the Lord was so near you could step into His presence at any time? Do you remember the things that God once required of you? I find it interesting how over time, the things that God once required of us lose their importance, and we live as though that was for then, but not for now. Maybe your circumstances have changed, and therefor, you assume that what God once required of you must surely not apply now, for it's much more inconvenient or costly now. Think back to the simple acts of obedience that God required of you when He was so near. Remember getting up early and spending that time with Him? Remember spending your evenings in prayer with your husband or wife? Remember putting away the TV? Remember...?
I wonder, in your search to find and return to that wonderful place of unbroken fellowship with Jesus, have you tried many things without success? Have you tried sacrifice and offering, all to no avail? I hear the Lord saying to rebuild the old altar that's broken down. Don't try building a new one. The old one is the one He wants. He wants the old altar rebuilt; the one that has fallen over time due to time, or the activity of the enemy, or just do to activity period. Elijah "repaired the altar of the Lord that was broken down." When the Lord requires specific acts of obedience from us, He will only be satisfied with obedience. To build any new altars is just trying to replace obedience with sacrifice, and remember that "to obey is better than sacrifice." All of your sacrifice will not please God if the old altar of simple obedience is broken down. Don't waste any more time building new altars. Repair the old one that was broken down.
Remember back to times of refreshing in His presence. Remember back to the beautiful garden of prayer. Remember back to time spent basking in His glory. "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works..." (Rev. 2:5). "Repair the altar of the Lord that was broken down."