Written by: Dr Siva Moodley
Article source: JOY! Magazine
The word ‘altar’ is derived from the Latin word altarium, meaning “high”. It is a structure upon which offerings are placed and sacrifices are made. It is a place of slaughter. There are many types of altars mentioned in the word of God. In this article, we will discuss the ‘Altar of the Heart’.
Acting fine – losing control
Have you ever been hurt or offended and tried to deal with the problem by pretending that nothing was wrong? Did you make every effort to smile by covering it up? Did you bottle it up and hope that no one would see how you felt – but you kept the façade so well that people didn’t see the conflict that was raging in your heart?
However, in spite of every cover up and every effort, the bottled up hurt, offence, or conflict erupted and surfaced. Maybe it happened unexpectedly – you bumped into that person at a function, shopping mall, someone’s house, or maybe even at church. All the negative feelings that you allowed to grow in the dark began a war inside yourself against this person. Anger, the need to prove yourself, pride, unforgiveness, irritation, even anxiety swells up from your bowels, through your mouth. The wrong words exit from your mouth and you lose self-control.
God will not accept our gifts if we harbour sin in our hearts.
Examine your heart
Prayer, adoration, and communion with God our Father is an integral part of our daily routine in our relationship with God. When we come before His throne with raised hands – to praise and glorify Him – God looks at our heart, our hands, listens to our words, and examines our motives and intentions in our prayers. He is a holy God and only holiness dwells with Him. We must be so particular about how we present ourselves to Him. In Psalm 24:3-5, God’s word says that only those who have clean hands and a pure heart, without vanity and deceit, may ascend upon the hill of the Lord and stand in His holy place. Our prayers, offerings, and sacrifices to God must first be thoroughly examined by ourselves, before we offer them to Him.
Repent of all sin before approaching God
Jesus says in Matthew 5:23-24 that we must leave our gift at the front of the altar, make things right first with our brother or sister, reconcile with them, and only then come back and offer our gift to God. God will not accept our gifts if we harbour sin in our hearts. Our worship will also not be accepted by God if we have unforgiveness, grudges, or hatred towards anyone. While we are in worship, God will reveal the issue or incident. When He speaks to us, we must obey, and go and make the situation right. Sometimes you may be unaware, or you may ignore the issue on purpose because you don’t really want to face the person, but the Holy Spirit will reveal it to you – He will hold you personally responsible for whatever He has revealed to you.
Prayer, adoration, and communion with God our Father is an integral part of our daily routine.
Refusing to concede
What does it mean in the Holy Scriptures, when God says “ought” against your brother?’ The word “ought” is the word “ti” in Greek and it means “anything” at all. God wants us to fix the matter, to deal with it and be free from it. In verse 24, the word “reconcile” is a Greek word “diallassomai” which refers to mutual concession after mutual hostility. Concession means to “give up an argument, to surrender a point, to concede to someone else, letting someone go and to refuse it from becoming an issue.”
When we refuse to concede, we become sad, and this sadness causes us to hold onto issues that wreak havoc on our emotions. It magnifies and exaggerates in our minds; making mountains out of molehills. Our hearts become hard and defensive.
Mend any broken relationships
God is our Father and we are His children. As a father, He wants us to live together in love and harmony. He is the Head and we are His Body. When we hurt, and hurt each other, He hurts also, for we are one. God wants us to have His peace, to be free, to reflect, to be calm, and to mend offences. He has broken down every wall of division. He has become our peace that enables us to forgive and to be forgiven. With God’s peace in us, we wish that we’d done it earlier.
Blessings for the new year
The broken altars of our hearts must be mended. Rebuilt altars are reinforced altars. They are stronger, durable, and will withstand storms. Beloved, it is my desire that we enter this coming new year free from everything that holds us back. God has great plans for each of us in 2020. It’s going to be a year of great favour – we entering liberated. Hallelujah!
The Moodley family wishes you and your family a blessed and highly favoured Christmas. May the Lord fulfil EVERY desire of your heart in 2020. Get ready for great favour!
Siva Moodley is a pastor and author. Visit sivamoodley.com for info on daily TV programmes, upcoming conferences, prayer requests, bookshop details, and more.
JOY! Digital is a Christian portal that shares pre-published articles by writers around the world. Each article is sourced and linked to the origin, and each article is credited with the author’s name. Although we do publish many articles that have been written in-house by JOY! journalists, we do not exclusively create our own content. Any views or opinions presented on this website are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.