Most of the people who come to us are carrying an excess of burdens and problems that have caused them to suffer and cry for years. When they come to Church, they believe all their suffering is due to these problems, which leads them to begin fighting to solve them. They begin chains of prayer, they fast and pray, participate in purposes; this is, they will do “everything”, but the worst part is that in most cases these people become discouraged because they don’t see the expected results within the expected time, since what they often receive is very small.
They begin to question themselves: What am I doing wrong? Why doesn’t God answer me?
The answer is simple: Their biggest problem isn’t the actual problem they’re facing; it’s their relationship with God! Their Altar is in ruins! And if they do not fix their problem with God, they will not find the solution to their marital problem, their child’s problem, their financial problem, etc.
Being separated from God was and is the greatest cause of man’s suffering. But, unfortunately, people are so blinded by their afflictions that they are unable to see they’re lost.
Israel was warned for more than 23 years by the prophet Jeremiah that their sins would lead them to destruction, but they were rebellious and insisted on not listening, which caused them to lose everything: their freedom, dignity, peace and worst of all, the temple was destroyed, Jerusalem was massacred and the people were taken into slavery, where they suffered for seventy years. Read Jeremiah 25.3-11.
After seventy years, God, in His infinite mercy, raised a king, Cyrus, who liberated Israel from captivity and sent them back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple and the city. God gave them a chance!
Upon their return, the people understood what their biggest problem actually was: their distance from the Almighty! They knew it wasn’t worth rebuilding the city, the walls, their houses, if they did not restore their relationship with God first, which was in ruins.
Therefore, the people of Israel did not waste time once they got back. The first thing they had to do was restore the Altar, because, how would they communicate with God without an Altar? This is impossible!
And when the seventh month had come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered together as one man to Jerusalem. Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. Though fear had come upon them because of the people of those countries, they set the altar on its bases; and they offered burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening burnt offerings. They also kept the Feast of Tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings in the number required by ordinance for each day. Afterwards they offered the regular burnt offering, and those for New Moons and for all the appointed feasts of the Lord that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a freewill offering to the Lord. From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, although the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid. Ezra 3.1-6
There was no Temple, but the Altar had been rebuilt. This shows us that the beginning of change does not happen when you start going to Church, it all starts at the Altar!
Everyone who wishes to change their lives cannot waste anymore time, you must start with your Altar, this is, your relationship with God, because as long as it is destroyed, your life will be in ruins.
How is your Altar? Is it restored or in ruins? Your life is proof of this!!!
May God enlighten us to understand this!