5 Altars in my Life

11.02.2015 |

I just got back from a high school youth retreat where our theme was "12 Stones."  This theme was taken from the first few verses in Joshua 4.  Gary did such a wonderful job of pointing us to God's truths in his word and applying those truths to our lives in a powerful way.  Very blessed for his ministry.

"When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, "Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, 'Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very pace where the priests' feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'"  Then Joshua called the twelve men from each tribe.  And Joshua said to them, "Pass on before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you.  When your children ask in time to come, 'What do those stones mean to you?' then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD.  When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.  So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever." And the people of Israel did just as Joshua commanded and took up twelve stones out of the midst of the Jordan according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, just as the LORD told Joshua.  And they carried them over with them to the place where they lodged and laid them down there.  And Joshua set up twelve stones in thee midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the preexists bearing the ark of the covenant had stood; and they are there to this day."
-Joshua 4:1-9

Joshua lead the Israelite across the Jordan River and as a reminder to future generations, he set up an altar of 12 stones. That would forever be a symbol for all that came by the pile of rocks as to what God had done in the Israelites' lives.

This was an incredibly meaningful weekend away from cell service and the every day routine.  It got me thinking about what things in my life serve as an alter to remind me of God's faithfulness in my life and to serve as a testimony to other people.

I came up with these few things:

My tattoo serves as an altar because it is an external reminder for me as to what Christ has done in my life.  I drew the picture that is on my back when I was doing my quite time and going through the verse Proverbs 4:23.  God was able to take my dead and dull heart and make it alive.  It reminds me of the verse in Ezekiel that talks about replacing my heart of stone with a soft heart.  It also serves as a way to share Jesus with other people.  It is a testimony piece.  When people ask about it, I am able to brag on God and all the amazing things he has done in my life.

For an in depth response as to why I got my anatomically correct heart tattoo, click reason for my ink and the human heart

You may have heard this song and may have heard it one too many times if you listen to the radio; however, in this current season of my life I am so overwhelmed at the unknown possibilities that await me.  This song soothes me because of the truths it boasts.  Listen to this song as you continue reading this post.

I have no idea what I am doing with trying to be a mom- nor did I technically sign up to be a mom in the first place- but God knows what is best for me and knows what I need.  So he provides.  This song reminds me to call out to Christ at all times, especially in the unknown times when I am so prone to run away from him and rely on my own strength.  
There is a proclamation in the song that is so incredibly difficult for me to utter at times. 
"Spirit lead me where my trust out borders, let me walk upon your waters wherever you would call me, take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."
I know with saying this God will honor that and take me through seasons where I have to depend on him and go through things that might be hard and that is scary to me, but I also know that the reward is Jesus and that is comforting.  Tears fall from my face and the lump forms in my throat whenever I try to sing this song.  
This is an alter because whenever I hear this song, I can come back to this season in my life and remember how faithful God has been and all the incredible things he has been teaching me: see Raw Emotions: Pregnancy
You may know that I ran in college for Mississippi State.  well, I still run (or woggle in pregnancy), but it's my passion.  One day in August 2014 I was running after work and talking to my sister on the phone (through my headphones, mind you) as I normally would.  We were talking and she made me cry while running, so much that I had to stop and walk right where I was.  She was commenting on how she didn't know what the heck she was doing with her life but desired to have a dating relationship that mirrored Mark's relationship with me.  I told her that that only comes when we are secure in our relationship with Christ and proceeded to ask her (and this was really hard) if she had ever surrendered her life to Christ.  I knew she knew the right things to do and the right things to
say, but I wanted to know if she had surrendered her desires to Christ.  Her response, "No, but I have been thinking about it."  The conversation brought me to tears, because I could see how the Lord was actively pursuing my little sister who I absolutely loved more than most of the human race combined.  Two weeks later I got to see my sister at our family's lake house and she was reading her bible and I asked her about the question I had previously asked her.  She said, "Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you.  I already did that!"  It was humorous but joyous all at the same time.  If you know my sister now, you know that God has done a mighty work in her life and is continuing to shape her (as he is all of us) into a closer image of himself.

Every time I pass by that gravel spot on Blackjack Road, I am reminded of how God can take a broken and filthy sinner and make her completely clean and full in him.  When I go through seasons of doubt and questioning myself, I can look at my sister and she is a constant reminder to me that God is faithful to his children and he is more gracious and merciful than I can begin comprehend.

This blog serves as a testimony to other people and a reminder to myself.  I have gotten several emails, texts, anonymous comments, and messages that have explained a difficult situation they have gone through and how the words on this internet page have helped them in whatever way.  I am comforted by that because it is all God.  I am just writing done what the Lord has put on my heart because writing is another passion of mine.  I tend to reread my posts from time to time and find that the very posts that I wrote speak to me in brand new ways.

I love going back in my journals to see what God has done and how he has answered prayers and brought me in and out of seasons in my life.  I love looking back to see what fruits have been produced in my life and how I handled specific situations.  I can just look at the journals I know I have filled the pages with scripture and truth and that is comforting.

Maybe you are like me, but one of the greatest altars or external reminders for me is something visual.  I love to look at pictures.  I know that when I post a picture to Instagram or Facebook or just keep it tucked away on my phone, there is a story behind it.  A lot of times I use Instagram as a place to pour out my heart for what God has been teaching me (no matter how crumby or messy it may be).  When I put a verse with a picture or explain the story behind the photo, I remember it.  When I search back through and view these pictures I am instantly taken back to how God moved in that moment.

I don't know what altars you have in your life.  Maybe it is a kind notes written from someone during a difficult time, a song, a voicemail, a person you can look at who lead you to Christ, maybe it is your favorite coffee mug, or a scar.  I don't know what it is, but I do know that having an altar is important to remind us of how faithful God has been in our past and how he will continue to be faithful in the future.  It is who he is.

  • What are the altars you have built in your life to point back to Christ?
  • How are you continuing to build altars in your life?
  • Why do you think it is important to build altars like Joshua did in chapter 4?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...