Throughout Scripture, God condescends to meet us at the altar. No wonder it has fallen out of fashion. At the altar is where God can and does get frank and real with each one of us, and maybe that's what we're afraid of.
It's very likely that the only thing preventing God from orchestrating a full-scale revival in our nation is the failure of His people to petition Him for revival. So let's become part of an army of intercessors, bombarding Heaven with please for God to intervene - not only on our behalf, but also for those who have yet to come to know Him. Come to the altar!
1 Kings 18:22-40
"Then Elijah said to the people, 'I alone remain a prophet of the LORD, but Baal’s prophets number four hundred and fifty men. Therefore, let them give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it in pieces and lay it on some wood, but do not light a fire under it, and I will prepare the other bull, lay it on some wood, and not light a fire underneath it. And you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD, and the God that answers by fire, let Him be God.'
"And all the people answered and said, 'It is well spoken.'
"Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, 'Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for there are many of you, and call on the name of your god, but do not light a fire underneath.'
"They took the bull which was given to them, and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, 'O Baal, hear us.' But there was no voice, and no one answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made.
"By noon, Elijah mocked them, saying, 'Cry out loud, for he is a god. Either he is talking or is gone away or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.' They cried out loud and cut themselves with knives and spears according to their custom until the blood gushed out on them. And as midday passed, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice. No one answered; no one paid attention.
"Elijah said to all the people, 'Come near to me.' And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came saying, 'Israel shall be your name,' and he built an altar in the name of the LORD with stones, and he made a trench around the altar, so deep that it could contain two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood and cut the bull in pieces and laid him on the wood and said, 'Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.'
"He said, 'Do it a second time,' and they did it a second time.
"And he said, 'Do it a third time,' and they did it the third time. The water ran all around the altar and also filled the trench with water.
"At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, 'The LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, so that this people may know that You are the LORD God and that You have turned their hearts back again.'
"Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice and the wood and the stones and the dust and licked up the water that was in the trench.
"When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, 'The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!'
"Elijah said to them, 'Arrest the prophets of Baal, and do not let one of them escape.' And they arrested them, and Elijah brought them down to the Kishon brook and executed them there" (MEV).
"Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever. So don’t let anyone lead you astray with all sorts of novel and exotic teachings. It is more beautiful to feast on grace and be inwardly strengthened than to be obsessed with dietary rules[g] which in themselves have no lasting benefit.
"We feast on a sacrifice at our spiritual altar, but those who serve as priests in the old system of worship have no right to eat of it. For the high priest carries the blood of animals into the holiest chamber as a sacrifice for sin, and then burns the bodies of the animals outside the city. And Jesus, our sin-sacrifice, also suffered death outside the city walls to make us holy by his own blood.
"So we must arise and join him outside the religious 'walls' and bear his disgrace. For we have no city here on earth to be our permanent home, but we seek the city that is destined to come. So we no longer offer up a steady stream of blood sacrifices, but through Jesus, we will offer up to God a steady stream of praise sacrifices—these are 'the lambs' we offer from our lips that celebrate his name!
"We will show mercy to the poor and not miss an opportunity to do acts of kindness for others, for these are the true sacrifices that delight God’s heart" (TPT).
• Even a cursory reading of Scripture reveals that God seeks to meet His people, and the altar is the place He has designated for that meeting.
• But the altar has fallen out of favor in our postmodern, post-Truth Church. It's too "churchy." It's too literal. It's too...out of touch. And that attitude is exactly the problem the Church is facing today!
• It's time for the Church to return to the altar, where God condescends to meet with a penitent people. It is not a place for you to bow to His will, but a place to submit to His authority.
• Commit today to join us as the first of 100,000 intercessors determined to return to our altars and plead with God for revival. Specifically, Pastor Parsley is asking us to commit to:
Pray every day, for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to come & produce true repentance of all sin, revival in your life, your church & your city & that an awakening comes that changes our nation.
Fast something every day – God will let you know what to fast when you get to the altar. Embark on a fasted lifestyle.
Partake of holy communion every day. Invite the body and blood of Christ to be part of your life between Sundays. It matters very little what you use for elements. The important thing is that you’re being obedient.
• Believe for a movement of 100,000 to return to the altar and believe for revival.