sacrifice

Where is Your Altar?

Genesis 13:1-4
You should never go a place without taking out time to communicate with God. Don’t lose focus on what God has planned for you to do. We have to be careful to wait on and follow God and not get off track with Him.
Abram means “high father.” His recognition was bestowed upon him by his personal experiences with God. He built altars to worship God when he went certain places.
Three altars that Abraham built:
Altar #1: Genesis 12:6: Abraham built an altar at Sichem, which represents strength. Strength represents obedience to God’s will about where to go or to stay. Sometimes we need the will to stay where God wants us to stay, instead of our own will that tries to to leave where He placed us. Don’t just use God’s will in things that favor us. We can’t make our will God’s will. Sometimes it is God’s will for you to stay put because He is trying to build up something in you and prepare you for something to come. We can’t spend more time asking God what His will is than we spend doing it.
Altar #2: Genesis 28: An altar of sacrifice at Bethuel, which represents the church and the church represents sacrifice. We must give God ourselves for God to fulfill His purpose in our lives.
Altar #3: Genesis 13: Altar of unity at Hai, where we share with others.
Genesis 12:10
You can’t go to the world expecting to be delivered. Nor should you go to a place inferior to what you already had. Egypt was inferior to Canaan.
We have to take our eyes off the circumstances we’re in because God has already put you in the best place! Why would you leave a land that God is watching over? Be where God’s presence is. Be where God is watching!
If you walk out of the church and into the world, there are consequences. If you think you only committed one sin, that one sin will lead to another. There are consequences even to that one sin. Abraham trusted in Egypt. We can’t trust in the world, which is like Egypt.
Don’t let the world take your will and your testimony. Wherever you got off track, go back and get it straight. How? Repent and confess your sins. You can’t repent and stay in the same place. You have to come out!
Even though God will forgive you, there is something you can’t get back: time. You lose time when you are in the world. Somethings you do have lasting effects even after God forgives you. Don’t waste time getting to God.
Do go anywhere in this world where you will have to leave your testimony behind. Be in a place where you can keep your testimony and stay in the presence of God. Get back in place!
Where is the place where you commune with God? You can be with other saints, be in every prayer meeting and service and still have no altar. Sometimes you have to separate from those who have altars in the wrong place. Go back to the place of the altar that you made to commune with God. Go back to where you messed up and get it right with God. Get back to the right place!

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Where is the answer?

Genesis 22:1-8
There are several tests that came upon Abraham in the book of Genesis: He was tested by his father, by his nephew Lot, and by his wife. It is through testing that we find out what kind of faith we have. We have to be willing to face the tests that come up in life. We may not understand why we go through some things, but if we keep walking with God, He will reveal the reason to us.
The conflicts Abraham had with Ishmael and Isaac were conflicts of the flesh and of the spirit. Isaac was the child of promise. Ishmael was the result of man’s attempt to produce natural evidence to a supernatural promise. But we have to bring the will of the flesh under subjection. The only way to overcome the fleshly nature is to cling to God’s word. Ishmael symbolizes the old covenant with Israel and Isaac symbolizes the new covenant with the church. Christians today are not under the law. There is a conflict between God’s way and man’s way. Salvation allows you to see things spiritually instead of naturally. If we obey God, He will always make a way and solve our problems. We must be very careful with our relationship with those outside of Christ.
Satan tempts us to bring out the worst in us, but God tests us to bring out the best in us. (James 1:12-14) God doesn’t take you though something to tear you down, but He takes you though things to build you up. God tests you so that He may be glorified when you endure and come out as pure gold!
When God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, He wasn’t looking for Isaac to die but He wanted to be sure that He had Abraham’s heart. God wanted to be sure that Isaac was not standing as an idol between God and Abraham. Never doubt in the promise that God gives you. Abraham remained faithful and obedient to God and God kept His promise. Sometimes we use the ram instead of the lamb. With Abraham, it was not time to use the lamb as a sacrifice. Jesus came later as the lamb for the sacrifice. The lamb that Isaac was concerned about was Jesus! Don’t use the ram for the answer. The ram is a fill-in to satisfy the situation at the time. But the lamb, Jesus, did come at the right time. Everything must happen at the right time that God appoints. God provides when we are obedient. Don’t lose faith because God doesn’t give the answer to your problem right away. Stay faithful to God and He will provide.

Prepare Yourself for a Blessing

Want to see God work wonders upon wonders? Consecrate yourselves and prepare to be ushered into the promised land God has for you! Consecration equals sanctification. Consecration requires separation for a holy purpose and suffocating hindrances that are keeping you from moving to the next level.

Joshua was a leader who understood the necessity of preparation through sacrifice to receive miracles from God (see Joshua 3:5). After Moses died in the wilderness, God chose Joshua, Moses’ right hand man, as the new leader of the children of Israel. Joshua’s faithfulness to God, along with his courageous, submissive, and wise traits made him fit to lead the people of God. In Joshua 3, God was preparing to take them into the Promised Land in three days. The number 3 signifies resurrection, change and miracles. In this passage, Joshua and all the children of Israel came to the Jordan river and prepared to cross. Crossing the Jordan River symbolized a baptismal experience, as they prepared to experience new life in the Promised Land.

After Joshua instructed the people to consecrate themselves and the priests to take up the Ark of the Covenant and go ahead of them, Joshua received a word from God for the priest to take the Ark and stand in the water. As soon as Joshua got the word from God, he went into action. We as children of God should desire to grow to the point where we are immediately obedient when God instructs us.

Even though God only told Joshua to tell the priests to stand in the Jordan with the Ark, Joshua added that God would stop up the river when they stepped in. Although God didn’t specifically say that He would stop up the river, Joshua used his faith and believed that God would clear a path in the Jordan River just as He had for them when they faced the Red Sea. Likewise, if we want to see God perform miracles and wonders in our lives, we must humble ourselves, commune with God and walk in faith as Joshua did. Just as we come to crossroads in our lives, the children of Israel were at a crossroad and had to be prepared to move forward. That preparation requires faith that after you consecrate and purify yourself, that God will take you into an abundantly blessed place.

God’s blessings come when we humble ourselves and are obedient to His word. 2 Chronicles 7:14 provides the basic formula for allowing God to turn situations around in our favor. It says to be humble, seek God, pray, and turn from sin. Humbling ourselves includes a willingness to suffer. Even though our flesh creates a constant struggle with sin, we must be willing to crucify our flesh so that Christ can rule in our lives (see Galatians 2:20). We must also remember that to see the glory of God, we must also be willing to share in His suffering (see Philippians 3:10; 1 Peter 4:12-13, Romans 5:3-5; Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Peter 2:9, 20).

Even though seeing God work miracles and wonders in our lives comes at a price, if we humble ourselves and pay the price by purifying our lives through consecration, God will bless us abundantly!