Imagine with me, taking stone after stone and placing them one upon another to build an altar. Each stone takes effort to lift and place. Each stone carries value toward the whole, reminding you of past sacrifices and provision. Altars represent both a surrender or giving of something, and a willingness to receive.
Remember when Elijah took 12 stones and built an altar on Mt. Carmel, challenging the prophets of Baal to see whose god would answer their sacrifice with fire? As Matt and I stood on Mt. Carmel a few years ago and gazed at the valley below, I thought about Elijah’s boldness. How did he find such confidence in the face of his enemies? I believe he had been building an altar of trust within himself long before he built the altar of stone.
As we continue this series on receiving from God, I want to highlight the importance of building an altar of trust in your life. Sometimes, when we feel like God isn’t answering our prayers or we find ourselves checking out other options, it’s because we’ve forgotten what He’s given to us in the past. We forget the words of truth, the bursts of strength, the moonlight on our face. We lose track of promises fulfilled and tears dried. Remembering sets us up to receive again.
Setting the Stage to Receive
The dictionary defines trust as a “firm belief in the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.”* Building trust in someone takes time, relationship, and experience. Trust comes from the accumulation of their faithfulness to their word. Through the day-in and day-out consistency of their character.
Elijah had witnessed his God’s faithfulness and character many times. He knew Jehovah to be who He said He was. And in this, Elijah knew he could trust fully. On Mt. Carmel, Elijah laid his trust on the line, inviting God to prove Himself to the naysayers. As God answered with fire, Elijah received another stone to add to his heart’s altar.
Maybe your memories of God’s faithfulness lay scattered around you, but have never been looked at as a whole. Not only is it important to highlight pivotal moments when God transfers His goodness, wisdom, and power to you, but when you pile them one on top of another, you release the power of their agreement over yourself, amplifying the truth of His faithfulness.
You may be able to talk yourself out of one or two times God met you, saying they were just coincidence. But begin to recite the dozens and dozens of encounters you’ve experienced and watch your questions dissipate and your heart expand to receive still more.
Gathering the Stones
Many prominent leaders in the Old Testament built altars to God, recalling His goodness toward them. For generations, Israelites were able to revisit these altars and retell the stories, encouraging themselves to stay faithful to God as He was to them.
I encourage you to set aside time to gather the memories of God’s provision and faithfulness to you. Whether you make a list in a journal or write words on physical stones (I’ve done both), power is released in remembering. Take time to allow the magnitude of His love and wisdom wash away any weariness, doubt, or frustration that might have crept in. Then rest, knowing you can trust Him in all He wants you to receive.
I’d love to join in your celebration. Please comment below and share some stones you’re stacking on your altar of trust.