As we look through Scripture, we see many important elements; however, one is flagged as essential: the Altar. It is a place chosen by God, to put His name and abide there (Deuteronomy 12.5). We can understand it as the lap of God, which not only receives a person’s offering or sacrifice, but also his or her own life.
Because it is so important, it has the power to consecrate what is placed upon it. The religious men who lived in the time of Jesus were so lost that they valued the offering more than the Altar, the gold more than the Altar that sanctifies the gold.
Their spiritual eyes were covered, that’s why their focus was misdirected, to the point of disregarding God Himself.
Because of greed, they cunningly taught that swearing by the gold of the Altar made the vow mandatory, because they considered it greater than anything else. The Lord Jesus fought against this evil thought by valuing the Altar, as God did since the beginning.
Unfortunately, the same ambitious spirit of the past has also blinded the present generation.
When our eyes are focused on worldly things, we are not sensitive enough to recognize eternal values. Even pastors have been captivated by the glitter of the gold and considered it to be more valuable in their lives.
This happens because they were never born of the Spirit, or, they became cold in the faith by prioritizing the material and neglecting the spiritual.
By keeping their eyes more focused on the offering than the offering giver’s soul, they fall into the same terrible sentence imposed on the Pharisees in the past.
May the questions below encourage a sincere self-analysis and reverberate an awareness of what represents gold and what represents the Altar, especially in the life of a pastor.
Therefore, what do you prefer:
* Enjoy life by getting drunk from the wine of this world or sacrificing it to be filled by the Spirit?
* Humbly and courageously facing your mistakes, even if there are momentary losses, or continue to hide them for your own convenience?
* Accept the benefits and protection of “wrongful schemes” or pay the price of denouncing them?
* Have profound spiritual theories or simply put your faith into practice?
* Be anxious and worried about your future and your family or focus on what God wants from you?
* Allow your conscience to be manipulated and receive benefits or keep it pure according to the principles of faith and suffer persecution?
* Live in the glory of past achievements, such as: “I did this, or that…”, “I was there or there…”, or fight to overcome on a daily basis?
* Place all your salary into the offering bag or make a perfect sacrifice on the Altar (body, soul, vows, purposes, time, strength…)?
* Only be respectful and obedient to authorities by saying, “Yes, sir!”; “No, sir!” while disobeying and disregarding God or be a true God-fearing person?
* When mistreated, appeal to a man to be justified, attack back, defend yourself or turn to the Throne of God and wait for an answer?
* Think about yourself and your problems or the people who are suffering?
* Give your all to please people, to the point of bringing harm to yourself or give your all to the Altar?
* Invest in your image, reputation and being culturally up-to-date or invest in your interior and an exemplary life?
* Have a spiritual life that is mediocre, where your communion with God is strengthened only during the services or be dedicated in developing your Salvation daily?
* Serve your ego by preaching to a large crowd or give it your all, preaching to save one soul?
* Do the works that can be seen by people and receive praise or do what can only be seen by God?
* Put all your strength into growing the church and move up in the Work of God or put all your strength into growing the Kingdom of God?
* Ensure the correct preaching of the Word, discipline and order in the Church and be criticized or turn a “blind eye” and get along with everyone?
* Have an audacious faith and start a work from zero every time it is necessary or consider yourself too important for a “small job”?
If your answers were sincere, they will point to where your eyes are truly focused.