Day Thirty-four = Put Your Back Into It
“And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed.” (1 Kings 18:32)
All the way around the newly built altar Elijah dug a trench. With either crude ancient tools, or, bare hands; the Israelites and Elijah bent over and began to clear the dirt away from the base of the altar. I can almost hear Elijah say as he notices the hour getting late “come on men put your backs into it”.
Elijah had to prepare the people, prepare the altar, and prepare the sacrifice before he could even consider offering worship up to the Lord. Today worship is reduced to a 2 fast songs 2 slow songs music set sang by the worship leader on a Sunday morning. Often as Christians we waltz into our local church body on any given Sunday morning sing a few songs, (hopefully ones we actually like this time) and go home feeling as though we have met our worship quota for the week. No preparation necessary right?
This attitude towards worship is the exact opposite of what genuine worship actually is. True worship takes preparation. Just as Elijah first prepared the people, we have to first prepare ourselves by placing our mind into an attitude of worship. If we come to a worship service and allow our minds to wander to questions of how long is this going take or distaste for the chosen song then our mind is not prepared for worship. We haven’t prepared ourselves. We must take our focus off of our surroundings, away from any song or time constraint and place it on God in order to have our minds prepared for worship.
Secondly Just as Elijah prepared the physical altar at Mt. Carmel, we must prepare our hearts which is our altar unto the Lord. We must take time to search our hearts and clean out the sin in order to prepare our altar for worship. How can we go to the Lord with true worship and contain sin in our hearts? This is impossible. We cannot be in the presence of God with sin. The bible tells us that sin separates us from God. (See Hebrews 7:26) How dare we attempt to come into His presence without first preparing our hearts?
Thirdly and Finally Just as Elijah prepared the sacrifice which was the bull, we must also prepare a sacrificial offering of worship. We are to offer our life as a living sacrifice, that we might die in the flesh but live eternally with Christ Jesus in the Spirit. Take time today to offer genuine worship unto God. Prepare yourself and give God your heart, your mind, and your soul. He delights in your praises!