“Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma…” Genesis 8:20-21 NIV
Real Worship is unrehearsed!
The first thing that Noah did was to build an altar after exiting the ark. You would think that the first thing Noah wanted to do was run, stretch, and take a bath since they had no showers and no plumbing. Noah and his entire family had been shut up in a boat with all kinds of smelly animals. But no, he took the time to build an altar! His action reveals a grateful heart. He was thankful!
A THANKFUL HEART IS ALWAYS A FAVORED HEART.
In order to build an altar, Noah had to find the right stones. Then he had to gather wood to build a fire, and Noah didn’t possess matches; it took time to build a fire. Noah also needed a sacrifice; he couldn’t build an altar without a sacrifice. All this effort and time, why? Because Noah knew if it hadn’t been for God, he would have already been defeated. He owed his life and his entire family’s lives to God. God was the reason Noah was still alive and able to build an altar for worship. If you want to survive your worst storm learn how to build an altar.
“Altar” means to slaughter. An altar represents the kind of worship that causes things that are in us to be slaughtered. Things such as anger, bitterness, and lust which are keeping us from a holy walk – a right walk – a pure walk with God. An altar is a raised platform on which you place someone or something as a gift to the Lord.
The sole object of worship is to ascribe worth and value to God!
When you understand the meaning of “altar” you will understand why Noah and other great leaders of the Bible always built altars to the Lord. It’s the place where you acknowledge that you are nothing without God. One thing the modern church is missing is the power of the altar. We use to close every sermon with a call to the altar in the old days. Giving people the time to come and lay down their burdens, their sins, and their problems. Pastors and leaders would walk around laying hands on people; coming in agreement with them for the release of what was holding them down.
I was raised in the old school kind of church. I wouldn’t trade my memories for a million dollars. As a child of Pentecostal background, I grew up watching adults fall on their faces, shouting, praying, crying, and lifting their hands to God. This memory has instilled in me the fact that there is more to church than just a sermon. There is an altar! We can come to the altar to lay our burdens down. We can come to the altar the way we are but leave changed.
Noah didn’t miss his altar, and God smelled the fragrance of his worship. Do you have a fragrance that attracts God’s attention? God smelled Noah’s pleasing aroma. Have you given up your altar?
Worship Unlocks Wealth!
As soon as Abraham gave up his altar he began to lie, trying to protect his own self-interest. When Abraham left his altar, he entered Egypt(Genesis 20). He traded his altar for his comfort, which almost cost him his life. When we lose our altar, we birth our Ishmael. The sin of our flesh will produce children. Going to church, paying our tithe, and reading our Bible are not our altars. We would like to believe that these necessary acts are our altar, but they are not.
The altar is the place where real worship is offered up to God. Worship requires a sacrifice. Worship requires more than lip service; it requires you. All of you! Worship is the intimate part of your relationship with God. Praise is good, but praise invites God into our presence. God will inhabit the praises of His people, but God doesn’t just want to show up. He wants to birth something; He wants to reproduce and multiply. The desire to produce and to take dominion has always been the focus of God for mankind.
“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:28
God desires to plant His spiritual seed in our hearts. Worship moves God past the formalistic ceremonial shout, into the private place of our hearts, where the unclean is slaughtered and replaced with His spiritual seeds of potential and change. God wants to impregnate us with His seed of power, His seed of change, His seed of potential, and His seed of destiny. But God will not do this until we learn to build an altar.
Notice what God does right after Noah builds an altar.
“The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” Genesis 8:21-9:1 NIV
Worship Gives God charge over your life!
God responds to an altar. Notice that Noah’s worship had a fragrance that was pleasing to God. When men build an altar, it produces the presence of God to provide a promise or covenant. Verse nine says that God blessed Noah and his sons. When a man begins to learn how to build and maintain his altar, it affects not only his life but also his son’s life. God gave Noah the same instructions He gave the first man and woman.“Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.”To be fruitful and to increase seems to be the main thought of the mind of God.
The word “altar” occurs over 350 times in the Bible. The first time it occurs is in Genesis chapter eight, verse twenty, where Noah built an altar. This is also the first time we hear God speak about the covenant of seedtime and harvest. God’s focus is the harvest of Noah’s willingness to worship with a sacrifice. Worship is a New Testament altar.
NOAH WAS A WORSHIPPER
Not only do you need to build an altar, but you must also learn how to worship at that altar. The altar is the physical place you establish on which to place your spiritual heart. Worship is proven by what you’re willing to walk away from in order to stay in God’s presence.
Let me warn you that merely building an altar doesn’t necessarily make you a true worshipper. The only person you will be required to please is the Holy Spirit. He’s the one person we have ignored in our lives. We must be cautious that we don’t grieve the Holy Spirit.
Worship develops in our hearts the ability to approach God, the proper skill of entering into His presence.
Worship is an act born of struggle, as when God called for the offering of Isaac from Abraham. Of course, you remember the story… Abraham waited twenty-six long years for Isaac, and after God had supplied the blessing, He asked Abraham to give it back (Genesis 22). Abraham’s response has always caught my interest.
“And Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” Genesis 22:5 NKJV
“The lad and I will go yonder and worship.” This is not what God told Abraham to do. He didn’t tell him to go to a mountain and worship. God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac – to sow his son. Abraham must have known something about God that others in his time and age didn’t know. He must have known that the seed you sow is seen as worship when it is offered to God.
Worship means more than attending a church service or lifting hands at the direction of a choir leader or pastor. Worship is man’s willingness to bow in God’s presence and give Him pre-eminence in life. Worship is the place where you step out of the light of the world and into the darkness of His abyss, where God and only God can illuminate you.
The quality of your worship will decide the accuracy of your stone.
King David faced Goliath as a young boy, and He killed the giant with one stone chosen from a nearby brook. David hit the giant in the temple or forehead which knocked the Goliath down. One stone was able to do the job.
We know David was a man after God’s own heart. How was he a man after God’s heart? David was a worshipper. Before he was a king… before he was called to the King Saul’s table. Before he faced Goliath, David had spent hours worshipping God.
FACTS ABOUT WORSHIP:
Worship produces the power to overcome any storm.
Worship provides us with the impartation of God’s seed.
Worship goes far deeper into the presence of God than praise.
Worship starts in the heart, and makes its way to the surface of our lives by our lifestyle.
Worship builds a better mindset for Godly living.
Worship builds peace in the atmosphere.
Worship produces joy.
Real worship is deadly to the enemy.
God’s power is released in worship.
Healing can take place while you are worshipping.
Lifted hands in worship allow others to see your surrendered heart.