What helped strengthen your relationship with that special someone in your life?
Maybe your spouse, fiancé, family or friends (whether male or female).
You had steady conversations with them, right? You always want to talk about everything and anything with them. For some lovebirds – in courtship or marriage – you locate a spot where you hang out just to be alone and talk- with this person.
God, who we desire to pursue a friendship with, also longs for conversations, communion and intimacy with us. Do you remember that day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit… God came down, as usual, to commune with Adam and Eve, but He didn’t find them at their special discussion spot. They had run to hide. Imagine the pain in God’s heart when He didn’t see His friends.
That desire to commune with man, drawing him into a closer relationship/friendship with Him hasn’t ceased in the heart of God.
In Isaiah 1: 18, the Bible says “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord.”.
“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart”, Jeremiah 29:13 tells us.
Like I asked you last week, imagine what a friendship with God will do for you.
Imagine the clarity your life will have; because you’re receiving clear instructions from God.
Imagine the answers to prayers; because you’re calling upon Him always, with a pure heart.
Imagine the favour from God and man, because God is your friend.
Abraham enjoyed all these and more.
Last week, we discussed that the first lesson learnt from Abraham’s friendship with God is his Confidence in God.
This week, we’ll be learning from his Communion with God.
Abraham and his Altars
After God called him to “Get thee out of thy country…” (Genesis 12: 1), Abraham journeyed into the land of Canaan. “And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord who appeared unto him” (Genesis 12: 7).
He built an ALTAR unto the Lord.
Not just that, in the next verse (Genesis 12:8), “And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel… and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.“
Abraham was a man of altars. He built altars around his experiences with God, as well as altars for constant commune with God (this he did in the places he dwelt.)
As you read through Abraham’s walk with God, you will find other verses that also recorded his building an altar. Abraham never joked about his dealings with God. Nor did he underestimate the need to build an altar – a place where he could always go to and have a friend-to-friend discussion with God.
No wonder why when God wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, He said “Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;” (Genesis 18: 17)
God Can have such heart-to-heart conversations with you if you learn to build an altar(s) of communion with Him.
3 things to learn about building your altar
1. God wants you to build an altar
An altar is a place of personal communion with God.
An altar is not a nice-to-have; it is a must-have for anyone who desires to be a friend of God. Like Pastor Gbile Akanni once said:
“All those who made/make an impact for God have something in common: an altar.”
Many people desire to experience God in various areas of their lives, but they haven’t developed the discipline to come to God themselves. They prefer to meet a pastor, counsellor or mentor for prayers and direction. This is similar to what the Israelites did when God came to speak to them.
“And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.
And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20: 18, 21)
God wasn’t satisfied with this kind of relationship with His people. In verse 24, He said, “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me…“
In the old testament, they had to build physical altars where they made sacrifices unto God. Today, we don’t need to use physical earth and stone to construct a stand, nor kill bulls and rams to make sacrifices.
We will explain further what that implies for us today, but also least we see that God desires we build personal altars for communion with Him.
Let’s learn from the life of Jesus what His altar looked like.
In Mark 1:35, Rising up a great while, He went up, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
We also read about His habit of going to the mountain to pray:
“And it came to pass in those days, that He went into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6: 12)
“And He came out and went, as was His habit, to the Mount of Olives; and His disciples followed Him.” (Luke 22: 39)
What a Man of the altar, a Man of private, personal communion with the Father, Jesus was!
To build an altar, you need to carve out a place and time of communion with God. The best time is like that of Jesus: waking up early before the day’s distractions. Jesus also exemplified getting a secluded corner in your room, house or environment as that meeting point with God. So you tell God that you’re starting this journey of building an altar, a place of intimacy with Him as your Friend. And you want to be meeting with Him at this place and by this time. God loves and honours such requests. He’ll always be there waiting for you.
2. Come to God from where you are
Building your altar, and intimacy with God is a process. Don’t look at someone doing 5 hours marathon prayers and say you want to start with that. Then beat yourself up and give up because you don’t seem to get it. In Exodus 20: 24, God said “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me...” And in verse 26, He says, “Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto my altar.“
Come down to earth. God wants to meet you where you are. And then help you grow from there. Don’t build a castle in the air altar that puts you on a high jump. Start with 30 minutes, and grow to one hour… and 2 hours. And if you don’t have the time now for everyday 8-hour marathon prayers, God sees you. You can keep communing with Him in the midst of the day’s activities.
He doesn’t want an altar built of something flashy that you now place your attention on that thing instead of on worshipping Him in spirit and truth.
3. Be consistent
God desires to commune with you always. A consistent 15 minutes with God daily is better than once in a while 3 days of fasting and prayers. Make communion with God a daily ritual.
Apostle Joshua Selman said somethjng about consistency worth mentioning: “Every time you consistently do a thing on earth you are attracting the spirit dimension of that reality. “
As you begin your daily communion with God, keeping the fire burning on your altar always, the first few days and weeks may not be easy. You’ll struggle with waking up early, staying awake to study the Bible, focusing your mind to pray… You may need to set your alarm to wake you up at the said time. And you have to fight the temptation to skip it for just today because of an assumed “urgent need.” Peradventure, you missed one day. You’ll need to pick yourself up and get back to your altar the next day. As you press on to always meet with the Lord, whether you feel like it or not, something happens down the road: an Unquenchable desire and love for communion with God is birthed, and grows within you.
Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. (Corrie Ten Boom)
One more thing, before I leave you to go think about your altar of communion with God.
God is everywhere. I’m sure you know that. That you have this place of personal communion doesn’t mean you can’t speak with Him wherever you are. You can.
In fact, in 1 Timothy 2:8, the Bible says, “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” You can talk to God at all times, in all places.
But to have that personal heart to heart, friend to friend intimate discussion, where you freely bare your fears and cry out to him without attracting attention and distractions, look for a secret place. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
6 thoughts on “How To Build An Altar of Communion With God”
Thanks so much ma’am
God bless you.
Bless your heart, dear sis.
Thank you, Ma’am.
This message is timely for me; I needed it at a time like this.
God bless you richly.
God bless you too, sis! Thank you.
This has touched me .infact I’m blessed .and i pray God gives me the grace to be discipline and be consistent in the place of communion with God
I’m so glad this spoke to you. Amen to your prayers.