Look at this warm inviting picture of the coffee shop. Awwwww…I am relaxing as I just sit back for a few minutes with my cup coffee, to visit with you. I am thinking about the Lord this morning and how when we walk with Him, there is the sweet aroma of His Spirit, like the steam and fragrance wafting up from a good cup of coffee. He is all around us, permeating the atmosphere, so that we even smell like Him. We enjoy His peace, His protection, His favor. There is nothing in the world like it. It’s vast and powerful. He is that great force, that guides us, and lifts us up. He is the voice that speaks to us in the night, and calls us forward in the daytime. And when we go through trials, He reaches His hand out to grab us and carry us for a while.
Have you noticed that God sometimes brings us to point of decision and change? He requires us to trust Him with the treasures of your heart– all that is good. Our job, our mate, our kids, our parents. And also all those things that are bad. Events and memories, abuses and sins, things that haunt us. Sometimes there have been actions and words that have caused us heartache and insecurity. These are the circumstances that can bind and torment us. Most of us have had some hopes and dreams that didn’t turn out the way we expected. Then we hear God telling us to give it to Him. To lay it down. All of those people, and circumstances…they are His to take charge of. Those last things that we have held onto, He is telling us to place them in His hands. (Gulp!) The altar is there and we are placing our issues– whatever they are, right there on that table, where we will let everything spill out between God and us. Where He will commune with us, and cover us with His grace and mercy.
We must trust Jesus with our welfare. He sees all of the things we can not see. He knows all of the things that we would not be able to figure out in a million years. There at the altar He tells us to release our concerns, and to forgive. And when we forgive, we are acknowledging that God Our Father, will be fair, and bring about justice as He sees fit, in this life or the next. And God sets us free.
We know that these things that weigh us down, are the very things that keep us from living in complete victory. Sometimes I see it in myself, I feel broken and weary. Sometimes I see it in others, and my heart is heavy for those who have been so deeply wounded. We try to maneuver around these strongholds. We can view it this way, “When there is a stronghold in our lives, it is like a smelly dead thing that we carry around. It makes a horrible odor everywhere we go. We know it’s there and sometimes it stinks, but we have become used to carrying it. After a while we think, it’s not that big of a big deal. But then someone else walks in, they gasp, and they yell, ‘Whew!!! It’s time to take that thing outside and bury it in the ground!'” God brings us to a better place, when we lay our lives on the altar, and give everything to Him.
Hebrews 11 is the “Faith Chapter” that talks about the some of the people, who laid their lives, on the altar, and walked in cooperation with God. And their lives were better for it.
- Noah laid down his reputation to obey God’s direction. As a result, he and his family were delivered, and started the world over.
- Abraham and Sara, laid down their only son Isaac, and submitted their destiny to God. They became the Mother and Father of a great Nation.
- Jacob laid his down his future, working for his uncle for 20 years. He wrestled with God and was blessed, and God gave him a new name. Then he bore the sons, who became the 12 tribes of the nation of Israel.
- Joseph laid down his life, becoming a servant and prisoner. He was faithful to God, and to the work he was given to do. He saved many lives, when he became the second in command, in Egypt.
- Moses laid down the life of a Prince. He was changed by the presence of the great “I Am,” and became God’s extended arm, governing His people.
Our faith starts in Jesus. And when we are walking in agreement with Him, that faith will accomplish all He intends it to. Jesus laid His life on the altar, agreeing that His Father’s will should be done. Because He did that, He saved us all. When we hear the Lord directing us to laid it all down, remembering Jesus, helps us to do the same. And it’s true that His peace, passes all understanding.
“ 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 is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
May God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you my friend!