It has now been seven days, one complete week of seeking the Lord’s face. Yesterday, we spoke about the hindrances to prayer answered from Isaiah 59:1-2. As we continue to seek, perhaps it’s time for us to rebuild the altars that have been broken down.
Do you remember when you first accepted Christ into your heart? Do you remember the freshness that came from spending time in His Presence? Do you remember how you longed for those times of refreshing to come? Of course you do…you just don’t want to admit it.
What is it that breaks altars down? I think there are several factors, among them the daily cares of life. When we gave our heart to the Lord, the load of sin was lifted and we experienced peace with God…and in many cases peace with everyone around us. But them came temptation…then came tribulation…then came the every day grind of life. Perhaps you thought this new feeling you had would never subside…you thought this was going to be an easy proposition…but the truth is simple; it’s not.
At first your prayers got shorter. Then they were mostly spent with your mind wandering from one thing to another. That’s the reason we are taught in the Scripture to “gird up the loins of our mind,” (1 Peter 1:13) so that we are prepared when the attack of the enemy comes. As your prayer time became more like daydreaming, you began to miss those moments of sweet fellowship and prayer…after a while it wasn’t hard to do…you allowed yourself to become distracted to the point that it didn’t seem to matter any more.
How do we recover? How do we return to the Lord when we have drifted from Him? First, you rebuild the altar that was broken down. Scripture has examples of this, most notably when Elijah rebuilt the altar of God that had been broken down at mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18) Elijah confronted the people of God for “halting between two opinions,” or in other words, they vacillated between Ba’al and the True and Living God. We can become guilty of the same.
We must rebuild those altars that have fallen down. Whether they have fallen down through neglect or deliberate action, it is time to return to the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. (cf. Matthew 22:37)
Don’t wait…do it now! Turn to Him with all of your heart…when you do that, you will begin the process of rebuilding the altar (Jeremiah 29:13)