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Altar construction–a proper response to His greatness!

Keeping family and friends “engaged” through various forms of communication is absolutely crucial for missionary success. And yet, as SSMF missionary Emma Nash, who serves in South Africa reveals, time to gaze upon God and His faithfulness must be an even higher priority.

 

I’m afraid to check the date on the last blog post I wrote. It’s been a while to say the least.

The past few months have allowed for days of living, learning, and soaking for Taylor and me.

When you live internationally on the mission field you need (and want) to keep family, friends, and everyone engaged in your life.

This maintained connection often comes by us telling, informing, revealing, expressing, and conveying in the form of newsletters, photos, blogs, text messages, phone calls and Skype sessions, which all become a regular part of life.

We found ourselves recently in a season that wanted us to simply stay inward for a time.

–Not to keep secrets.

–Not to disconnect from community.

–Not to isolate ourselves because “others wouldn’t understand.”

But because we needed time to quietly gaze upon God and His faithfulness.

There have been days of fervent prayer and seeking guidance.

We have spent time focusing on God’s promises and how open, or not open, we are to receiving them in our lives.

There have been moments of enlightenment when specific areas of obedience became clear to us, and we have been challenged to express our faith in new, uncomfortable, yet powerful ways.

As I look back on the weeks behind us, I’m led to worship.

God has been here with us and we want to praise Him for that.

I’ve been reading lately in Genesis, witnessing a God that makes covenants with His people.

He talks to us. He listens to us. He is faithful to keep promises.

Protection, blessing, rescue, expansion, justice, comfort, provision–“Just trust Me,” He says.

That’s all that He asked from Abraham, from Sarah, from Hagar, from Noah and Jacob and Joseph.

“Believe I can do what I say I can do.”

As I’ve poured over the pages of Scripture, I’ve seen fallible people allow their hearts to trust in an infallible God and felt how relevant and present tense that same God is today.

I’ve encountered visions of the altars built by each of these characters, in which they laid a part of themselves down and were met by God intangible and life-changing ways.

He is a God that shows up at the altar.

Not just once.

Not after a few college tries.

But time and time again.

He meets His people and He keeps His promises.

The most beautiful part is that those altars remain for generations to come.

The stones are stacked as testaments to a God that kept His word.

We have reminders that a sacrificial heart is strikingly worth it. Ten fold.

My mom and I have passed a song back and forth to each other throughout this African journey that helps welcome the day when it feels hard to open our hands to another sunrise.

At one point it says, “I’m about to get my worship on,” and I’ve tried to find moments to let that take me over.

Just the other day, I was sitting on the floor with laundry and dishes and dinner waiting on me when an old hymn came on that moved my heart to worship.

My mind began to wander to the altars in my life that are standing as authentic evidences of God’s faithfulness.

When have I had fears and inadequacies be wrapped in the peace of a truthful God upon laying them at His feet?

Where has my heart been surrendered only to be lifted up to new heights by the Lord?

What have I given to God that He has multiplied abundantly?

God shows up when we approach the altar.

There is no fear in that.

That day on the floor as I was getting my worship on, I found tears falling from the corners of my eyes remembering a faithful God.

–He was faithful to David in the cave.

–He was faithful to Noah on the ark.

–He was faithful to Abraham with a knife at the throat of his promised child.

–He was faithful to Moses and Ezekiel and Ruth and Hosea and Mary and Paul.

–He was faithful to me and to Taylor in our yesterdays and He will be faithful tomorrow.

We must simply be willing to meet Him at the altar with something to lay down.

God is good, all the time.

–He is good in our sacrifices.

–He is good in our moves.

–He is good in our mistakes and regrets.

–He is good in our unmet desires or expectations.

–He is good in our inconveniences.

–He is good in our greatest fears.

And He will make good on all of the promises that He has written before us.

True worship is a willingness of heart rooted in a confidence in God’s sovereignty.

Take your willing heart to the altar today and let a Sovereign God meet you there.

“Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him…his son Isaac.”

“…And to this day it is said, “on the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

Geneses 22

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