Sacrificing old natures
In the Bible, an altar represented different things. It represented sacrificing to God by giving Him the best sheep in the flock. It represented worshipping God and putting Him above all else in life. It represented humility, acknowledging our need of God and our total dependence on Him. But it’s also possible to build an altar ‘for ourselves’, and when we do that, we take away God’s rightful place in our lives and begin to put ourselves first. We begin to think we deserve the best of everything; we put our own needs first; we start to rely totally on our own wisdom and judgement; we lose our humility. That’s why Jesus sets the following standard for discipleship, and it’s a high standard: ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me’ (Matthew 16:24 NKJV). Paul wrote: ‘If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit’s help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, you will have true life’ (Romans 8:13 NCV). Our old, ungodly, sinful natures need to be sacrificed each day – we won’t get rid of them without a struggle. And the power to do this can only be accessed by spending time in prayer with God and constantly renewing our minds with the Word of God. To build an altar to the Lord, we must destroy the altars we’ve built to ourselves, and let our new, Christlike natures shine through.
Find a picture of an altar or take a photo of the altar at your church. Every morning, look at the picture and ask God to help you put your old nature aside and build an altar to Him with the help of your new nature.
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