“Sometimes pursuing the call of God requires that sort of dramatic break away from our past. We need to take a stand for the change God wants to see in our life, putting everything on the altar.”
What does it look like to put everything on the altar for God? As we study the sacrificial system in the Old Testament, I am reminded of the story of a young man named Gideon. In Judges, we find God’s people in a desperate state, worshiping foreign gods and oppressed by their enemy.
Gideon described himself as the most insignificant member of his tribe. Like many in Israel, Gideon’s family had their own altar to Baal and an Asherah pole, dedicated to the goddess of fertility. Worship of these foreign gods was demonic and even involved human sacrifice. Imagine the young man’s surprise when the angel of the Lord appeared, addressing him as a “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). The angel told Gideon to “take” a bull from his father’s herd, “tear down” the family altar, and use it to “build” an altar to the Lord (vv. 25–26). Knowing this would be shocking to his family and community, Gideon obeyed. He destroyed his family’s altar, then constructed an altar to the Lord God, sacrificing the bull on it.
Sometimes pursuing the call of God requires that sort of dramatic break away from our past. We need to take a stand for the change God wants to see in our life, putting everything on the altar. We repent of the sin that has become all too familiar and say, “This will not be repeated.”
At our church, I met a man called Big Don. He was 6’4”, weighed 220 lbs., and had a crack cocaine addiction. After years of his aunt badgering him, he finally agreed to come to church. The first time Don showed up at the service, his arms were crossed in defiance. But the next week he heard the gospel, and, sobbing, gave his life to Christ. In a massive transformation, he gave up his addiction. Don’s obsession with drugs turned into a passion to help others. Don became an addiction counselor and has now helped hundreds of people walk down the path of sobriety and drug-free living. “I have a passion to see people set free.”
Friend, I believe that your greatest shame, your greatest weakness, even the darkest area of your past, can be completely transformed when God gets a hold of it, and you throw it all on the altar. What once brought shame is now used for His glory!