I did not fully understand the words, holy matrimony, until the day I walked up the stairs of the altar, and grabbed my husband’s hands and said the words, “I do.” It was one of the most holy, special days of my life. It was the day I made a covenant with my husband, before God that I would love, honor, and cherish him until death do us part. It was the day that I felt in a room full of people that the only person in existence was my husband, the Holy Spirit and me. It was a day that I said, “from this day forward, I give my life to you, and all that I am.” It was special, it was holy, and it didn’t end at the altar.
Another altar I stepped foot on and asked someone into my life, was when I was seven. I stood in front of our little church, my Uncle Lyle took his cowboy hat off, bent down on one knee and said, “Emmy, repeat after me.” In that moment with Jesus, I said, “here I am God, I am yours, and I give my life to you.” I invited Him into relationship with me and offered everything and all I was to Him. I would dance for Him, sing to Him, I remember knowing that no matter what, I would do anything for the God I loved.
If only I could have stayed that little seven-year-old, blondie blue without a care in the world. But unfortunately, we grow and the world has cares, it has hardships, it pulls us and pushes us. It has hard things and happy things, and after thirty years, I found myself praying to God once again, “I want to get back on the altar with you.” When I stood on the altar with Jesus at age seven, He had given me the free will to choose His way or mine. As a living sacrifice, it can be easy to step on and off the altar, in a battle between His way or mine. This is not a salvation issue, for my covenant has been made and sealed, but it is a relationship, commitment, dedication, and priority matter.
The altar was intended for many things. As we read in scripture, the altar is a place of forgiveness, worship, covenant, encounter, and prayer. The altar is a place we were never supposed to step away from, and yet, we seem that off the altar might be safer- off the altar is my own will be done. I was naive when I was seven, because I didn’t think that anything would remove my feet from that special place with God. Then, little by little, the things I was trusting God for didn’t happen and without me realizing it, I had taken one step off the altar, only to take another soon after, until both feet were removed, and distrust took the place of my worship.
God, in His gentle way brought me back to year seven, “remember when you said, all I am and all I have is yours, then why do you only trust me when things go your way?” He always has a way of drawing us back to Him. The altar can be daunting, as it is a place we let Him all in, it is a place we allow Him to burn and refine us, the place we can be altered, renewed and transformed. That is the good place where Jesus will make us more like Him, and we learn to trust Him not situationally, but eternally.
Where are your feet? Are they on the altar? Is one foot on and one foot off? Have you taken one step back, or is the altar so far in the distance, you’re not sure how to get back on? Wherever your feet are, God is always waiting for you to come back close to Him, His arms are always open. May this be your hearts cry, “God, I want to get back on the altar with you, as I pour out a sacrifice of praise unto my KING.” He is worthy, He will never leave you or forsake you, and He is ready to pour out His spirit over His children. All He wants is, you, it’s always been you.