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Sunday, December 13, 2009

lonesome gods

This morning while I was waiting for Michael’s eggs to finish boiling I was reading a Louis L’Amour book called ‘The Lonesome Gods.’ There was a statement in the chapter I was reading which made me stop and think. I probably don’t have the quote quite right but the character said, “Every culture has their gods that they worship, but their power has waned because no one is lighting fire on their altars any more.”
Now without going in to a discussion on false gods etc, the last part of this was what had an impact on my mind: “…their power has waned because no one is lighting fire on their altars any more.” At first thought we might say that the whole picture is false, and it is. But my mind jumped from pagan altars to the altar of God and how the priests of the Old Testament observed scheduled times of worship and offerings. Their actions kept the power of God operating in the lives of the entire nation. So do our individual actions maintain the demonstration of God’s power in us.

In the lives of men and women today, the power of God has waned because they no longer offer sacrifices on the altar of God. Most people offer nothing at all and even those who profess Christianity neglect to make any regular offerings to God. Sometimes, most times, people tend to think of God as some powerful being who sits far off on the circle of the universe just waiting for us to ask for something and then he is supposed to miraculously grant it. Now I know that the Power of God is independent of any offering or recognition we might offer, but how the power is demonstrated in our personal lives is directly proportional to the offerings we bring to His Altar.

Our first sacrifice must our entire being offered in repentance and love, then our daily sacrifices must be brought before Him. David said, Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. When we neglect to give Him the offerings of prayer and service, His Power in our lives is diminished-not by His wish, but by our own actions. We stem the flow when we cease to offer our sacrifices on His altar.

It is no wonder that men today refuse to acknowledge the power of God. They don’t see it demonstrated because they have “ceased to light fires” upon His Altar. We must keep the power of our God strong and active in our lives by living the life He requires of us. We must draw closer to Him through the reading of His word and our prayers. We find repeated reference linking prayer with the offerings of incense and the fragrance of the sacrifice ascending to heaven. Paul tells us to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God. These are the fires we must burn upon the Lord’s altar.

II Chronicles 16:9 tells us that the Lord is seeking for people toward whom He can ‘show himself strong.” But in the same breath it also says that He does it on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward him. We already know that the way the Israelites kept their hearts perfect in His sight was through the offering of the sacrifices and although the sacrifices have now become spiritual, we still keep ourselves perfect before Him by the offering of our daily sacrifices. We must keep the fires burning in order for His Power to be demonstrated in our lives.

Hmmm. I’ll bet Louie L’Amour never intended to preach me a sermon with those few words in a book meant for entertainment…

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