Repairing Broken Altars 1
So many children of God get so frustrated, angry and disillusioned when they do not get answers to their prayers. Some have left the faith or change churches because they believe God is not answering them any more. It is as if God is not even there any more. They feel they have given and sacrificed so much to the Kingdom that the answers to their prayers must be commensurate to these efforts.
The Bible is very clear both in the Old and New Testaments on why prayers are not answered. It is not because our God is insensitive to our plight nor is He deaf to our cries. Unfortunately, it is our iniquities and the desires of our hearts that puts us at opposite ends with the Father. He told us clearly in Leviticus 26 that He would walk contrary to any person that walks contrary to Him, by Ezekiel 14, He declared that when a man comes to Him with multitude of idols (ungodly desires) in his heart, He would answer such a person according to the multitude of idols in that heart. By the time we got to the New Testament, He declared that the reason we do not get our prayers answered is because of the desires that war in our hearts which are contrary to His desires for us - James 4:1-3.
From the Scriptures, we understand that when our prayers are not answered then there is something very wrong. Please understand that God can answer our prayers in 3 particular ways: yes, wait or no. But a situation when we feel Heaven is closed to us, then there is a problem and it must be quickly dealt with so that we would not fall away from Him. In such a situation, the first place to look at is our meeting point with the Lord. In the Old Testament, the meeting point is the Altar. The Lord specifically gave instructions on how the Altar must be built, what to be sacrificed there and by whom. By the New Testament we saw that the Altar now is our hearts. It is still an Altar - a meeting point between us and Him. No wonder the Lord is very particular about the state of our hearts! During His conversation with the woman by the well in John 4, the Lord pointed out that the Lord had moved from physical altars and was now seeking people that will worship Him in Spirit and Truth. To press home this point, He declared in Matthew 24:1-2, that the physical stones of the Temple complex will be torn down. Before then, in Joshua 1:8, we see a foreshadow of our hearts becoming the meeting point, when He declared to Joshua to 'meditate' day and night upon His instruction, then he would be successful in all he does. Meditation in God's word can only occur in a heart that is unfettered with issues - a heart that ponders, dwells and listens to the voice of his Master.
One thing is for sure, if the altar is corrupted or destroyed there cannot be communication between man and God! Why is the Altar important to God you may ask? It is a place where God disciples, trims, sharpens and trains the man into His desired shape in order to fulfill the task that had been laid out for him. It is at the Altar that plans are made, instructions received, illuminations given etc. This is where God develops a man internally before others begin to feel or encounter him externally.
Throughout Scriptures, it is clear that where there is no Altar, there is no relationship with God. Once a person falls away from his relationship with God, check out the state of his altar. To get back to that point again of communing with God, then the Altar - meeting point must be repaired and functioning again.