At the very end of Genesis eleven, we are introduced to a man named Abram. Chapters twelve to twenty-five tell us the story of his life. This is the first in depth story of someone’s life so far.
So, lets begin to dive into the story of Abram. Don’t worry, we’re not going to try to cover Abram’s entire life in this one post. That would be an injustice into God’s work. There wouldn’t be enough room within the entirety of the world wide web to do God’s work justice.
Anyway, on to Abram. As we begin to read his story, the first thing we encounter is a blessing. Not just any blessing, but the promise that the ENTIRE human race, both then and now, would be blessed because of him. Can you feel the pressure? I sure can.
Now our thirst as a Christian is typically to have it be said of us as it was of Abram:
“Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Galatians 3:6
The real question we typically ask is, “how can I be like Abraham?” Our hearts desire, our thirst, out of our life is to glorify God in all we do. Or, rather, that should be our goal in life.
So, how do we begin to quench our thirst for that deep, abiding relationship with God that Abram had? Let’s look into the steps we can take.
After the blessing, Abram begins his journey. Twice in the first eleven verses we see Abram’s first display of dedication, the practice of building an altar to God. The first time was after God appeared to him. The second was when he pitched his tent to begin settling in.
So what can we take away from his example? It’s simple. We need to begin the discipline of building altars to glorify God in our own lives. How do we do that? What does an altar look like in today’s society?
An alter is defined to be an elevated place or structure, as a mound or platform, at which religious rites are performed or on which sacrifices areoffered to gods, ancestors, etc. I know altars aren’t used in today’s culture like they did in Abram’s time. That doesn’t mean that we can’t, or shouldn’t, apply this to our lives in order to quench our ever present thirst for God.
An altar in today’s world could be as simple as the space in which we have our quiet time with God. It could also be the place He knocks us to our knees. It could also be our reaction to a big event in our life, or even our reaction to something new in our life.
Often times, when we look around, our altars are every where. Many days, we are either too distracted, or too blind to recognize them. Maybe we need to take some time to sit down and look over our life and see what altars we can sacrifice our own priorities on.
What do your alters look like in your life? What can you do to build an altar in your life?