How do you keep the flame of God’s love alive in your heart? Do you feel exhausted by all that is going on in the world? When I keep my eyes on these things, I truly feel weary by all of the evil. This is why I am so thankful for all Jesus has done to help us keep that flame alive:
Hebrews 12:2 says, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
I love studying the idea of personal revival. I’ve been reading various books (excerpts taken from Rekindling the Altar Fire) and all through the Bible about it. What does revival even mean? All throughout the Bible, you will see a theme: revival is the renewal of one’s spirit to regain life and lost power.
In ancient times, there has always been this concept of an altar being central to the lives of God’s people.
The principle of God’s altar seems to be a key to an awakening and strengthening of His people’s spirits; our inner, eternal life inside of us. Throughout Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus, building an altar and sustaining the fire on it was how man honored God and God blessed and forgave His people.
Today, building an altar and sustaining the fire of God is a reflection of His power or Holy Spirit that changes you and in turn, the world around you.
The phrase, “They built the altar of the Lord” is found at the very beginning of defining moments in Biblical history:
For instance, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samuel, Saul all built altars to God. Keeping the fire stoked and burning was a command to Aaron and his sons, the Levite priests after him.
Even in the New Testament, John the Baptist cried in the desert, “I baptize you with water for repentance but there is One coming after me that will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
“On the day of Pentecost, all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.” Acts 2:1-4
There is such significance in the fire.
Hebrews 12:29 says, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
In order to know what this fire even means, to keep it burning inside of us, we should understand that it is a perpetual relationship with God and as that fire is ablaze in our hearts, it becomes a move of God in and all around us!
The altar no longer signifies animal sacrifice to atone for mankind’s sin. Today, the altar represents a place for coming to worship God.
As a little girl, I would be moved by the music and preaching by the Pastor. At the end of the service, an altar call would be initiated and we were invited to come for prayer to dedicate ourselves to God. That doesn’t happen very often today. I remember those times of consecration to be some of the most powerful times of my early walk with Jesus.
The altar always represented an anointing of the Holy Spirit. A heaviness, if you will. It is said that the anointing breaks the yoke of bondage of the enemy and the altar is a place for that overcoming.
But the altar is also a place of personal daily communion.
I read this week in Exodus 20:24 all about how God commanded the children of Israel through Moses to construct altars on which sacrifices and offerings would be placed: “Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.”
Thank God that we no longer have need of this! I wrote in my devotional today that this ritual for forgiveness of sin is so detailed in scripture that it’s hard to divorce the severity of the endless killing of animals to this holy God from the God we offer our hearts to today.
“But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.” Hebrews 10:3-4
I am so thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice because when He came, there was no longer need for this. How my heart fills with love and gratitude!
Exodus 33 says, "Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the "tent of meeting." Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. ... As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses."
This is how I keep the flame of God's love alive in my heart. Everyday, I spend time alone with God. I pray and tell Him how grateful I am for all He has done for me. I offer Him worship and praise. I read about Him in His Word. He fills me with a Holy fire of His Spirit to renew me.
And that is how revival begins... it's a spark that turns into a flame in our personal hearts first.
May we all begin here.