Burning Altars by Nonye Tobe

Every believer has an altar inside of him - an altar upon which service is rendered unto the Almighty. For a believer to live a life that pleases God, showcases Christ, and assures him a sure ticket to eternal glory, such Christian must keep that altar burning.

Burning Altars by Nonye Tobe
It is not enough to claim salvation and not work towards it. Paul the Apostle encouraged the early church even unto the believers of today to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. A cold altar carries the risk of eternal condemnation. Indeed, it is possible for a believer's altar to grow cold. This happens when he allows the fire of the Holy Spirit to die down even to the point of being extinguished.
How does this happen? 

1. Neglecting the place of Prayer

Prayer brings us closer to God’s presence.It invokes the Spirit of God at work in our lives. It should not be carried out as a mundane obligation or with a false sense of devotion but with a desire to draw closer to the throne of God. Prayer helps us to avoid falling into temptation and sin. It’s one of the faggots we can employ to keep the fire of our altars blazing.

2. Fervent Praise and Deep Worship

This should not be a replacement for prayer. In the same vein, prayer should not be replaced with this.
You should be yourself in the place of worship, stir up the atmosphere with songs and melodies that are Spirit-inspired. Any position can be employed in the place of worship - kneeling, sitting, standing,bowing, even lying down flat on your face. You can shout, scream, cry. Simply express yourself uninhibitedly in God’s presence.Do this regularly and watch your fire blaze!

3. Keeping God’s Word aside

It’s difficult to overcome temptation and sin if one doesn’t know the instructions of God. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by life’s troubles if one doesn’t regularly comfort himself with the Word of God.
Joshua 1:8 encourages us to meditate on the Word of God, day and night.The 66books of the Bible are a sure guide for wholesome living. Every thing known to man has been recorded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the faithful men of old.
Strive each day to study and meditate upon the Scriptures. It’s a great help to have a Bible Reading Guide, and a Daily Devotional along with your Bible and writing materials. Some believers also find pleasure in having some solemn music playing in the background while they study.
One who is saturated in the Scriptures is not easily tempted, he seeks God’s will and walks according to it. The logs on his fire are piled high and continuously stay aflame.

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4.Disobedience to the Spirit’s Leading:

The Spirit speaking to us enables us live as God wills. Direction from him enables us make the right decisions and take right steps in our journey of life. Sometimes, we smother the voice of the Spirit just to do what we desire. Persistent disobedience can cause our conscience to become scarred and insensitive to right counsel. Obedience to the Spirit’s leading is therefore an essential fag got in keeping our conscience sensitive to obey and keep our altar shot!

5. Leaving the ashes behind

When the ashes of a fire place/altar are not swept out and more fires are made, the ashes will smother the fire. In the same vein, the figurative ashes of our altars can smother the fire burning therein. Ashes like bitterness,envy,fleshly desires, angst and soon. To maintain a burning altar, we must endeavour to regularly vacuum clean our lives.Throwing out the secret habits and sins that would stand in the way of our pleasant sacrifice to God.

6. Isolation from Flame Killers

No matter how much you strive to cultivate the opposite of the above points, bad association can render your efforts useless. Watch your associates. Are those who you regularly spend your time and life with, flame killers or igniters. Do their speech, lifestyle, chats with you reflect Christ and draw you closer to the Spirit? If not,it’s time to take a U-turn.
Seek believers who possess burning altars and who will keep your altar burning with their godly activities. The Christian race is not one to be run alone.As Paul said,”do not neglect the gathering of yourselves (believers) together”. This includes taking part not only in evangelism,meetings,services and other Christian activities,but in secular settings as well.
By doing this,your spirit man is edified and your altar will never lack kindling.

7. Burying/Abuse of Godgivengifts:

Weallareblessedwithgiftsandtalentswhicharenotforourselves alone but to the service of the MostHigh and a great contribution to the progressivespreadofthegospelaroundthewholeearth.
Remember Jesus' parable of the men who were given respective talents and the fate of the one who buried his. Our talents are not ours to hide or keep under a bushel.
Through our various gifts of writing, public speaking, teaching children ministry, sanctuary care and so on; the Lord is glorified and our altars are being rekindled more for the love of his work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   8.Making no attempt to set others aflame:

One of the best times to reach outto other believers and preach to thelistiswhen you feel no motivation to carry on.  Encouraging others in faith can go along way in building up your spirit man and igniting your altar. Reach out, answer questions of new believers bythe help of the Holy Spirit, comfort those who are overwhelmed with Scriptures and other sort of assistance you can give.
By avoiding these flame quenchers and doing the opposite thereof, we would be doing well in obeying the Lord’s command thousands of years ago 'to keep the fire burning and ensure it never goes out'.
This article was originally submitted as an entry in our annual Gospel Writing Contest 2022 and has been edited for publishing on our blog. To learn more about the Gospel Writing Contest, kindly click here.

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