Ann Farabee: The sweet savor
Need time to pray? Take it.
Go to that place.
It is the place where you pray – by yourself.
It is the place where you pray – with your family.
It is the place where you pray – with your church congregation.
It is the place where you pray – with anyone who wants to pray.
It is our altar.
Leviticus 7:29-30 teaches that we are to bring our offerings personally to the Lord – no matter where we are – and to not just rely on others to pray for us. We need to personally pray.
In Biblical times, there were some directions for building altars. They were built in a raised place, by the hands of the people, with broken rocks, and dirt from the earth. No tools were used.
Ezra 3 tells of the Jews setting up an altar showing their commitment to stay close to God – because they knew staying close to God mattered. They learned to obey God from the heart – not from habit. Their altar continually burned.
Leviticus 6:13 says, “The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.” That is the fire of the Holy Spirit that lives in us. God started the fire – we did not.
The altar is the center of worship, a place of covenant, a place of prayer, and a place of personal encounter with God. The altar would stay in place for years – as a reminder of God’s protection and God’s promises.
At our personal altar, we surrender. We die to ourselves. We cry out to God. We bring our sins, our brokenness, our sickness, our fears, our needs, and our hopes. It is a place of breakthrough.
Where is our altar?
*In our heart – our central and innermost part of our being – where the Holy Spirit resides. Our heart is where God and man meet.
*In our home – and is built by the work of our own hands, guided by the Heavenly Father. Within the altar of our home lies our heritage.
*In our house of worship – which is defined as a place where a congregation gathers for prayer – at an altar.
We look up to the Lord – His ways are higher than ours. We come empty-handed. We build our altars with our own hands. We only have pieces of broken rocks and dirt of the earth. We have no tools. We have nothing to offer.
But we surrender to the Lord, because we know. He is the Alpha and Omega. He is the beginning and the end – Who is – and was – and is to come.
We surrender to the Lord, because of the truth we know in our hearts – the flame shall forever be burning on the altar – it will never go out.
Genesis 8:20 – Noah built an altar unto the Lord.
Genesis 8:21 – And the Lord smelled a sweet savor.
Let’s build our altar.
And…may it be a sweet savor to our Savior.