Then he erected there an altar and called it El-elhe-Israel.
How can something as light as a secret weigh as heavy as a stone on the soul? Few things on earth match the weight of a secret sin. Do you have one? Most folks do. We keep them carefully concealed under a mountain of social media, where only smiles and profound thoughts are allowed; basically where no one would ever suspect. But underneath the smiles, the soul trembles with its secrets. And what’s worse, the weight of our secret is only compounded by the lies it’s taking to cover them up. The mountain stands for now, but deep down we know we can’t last. Time helps heal a good many things, but secret sins never relent, even to time. So where do we go? Where do we take our secrets? There is a place, you know— a place where all secrets are known. It’s called an altar. Trust me, there isn’t a better place to leave a secret sin than an altar. O, it doesn’t have to be a physical altar, but I think we would do well to learn from those who have walked before us. The children of Israel offered their secret sins to God on an altar for centuries. They offered the secrets that weighed them down and then left those sins, stone-cold dead on the altar of God. I think there’s something to be said for that—something essential in an altar that we need in the worst kind of way. I felt like God gave me a fresh outlook in my studies this morning about the place of no secrets: “The altar of God.”
But before I tell you, have you noticed how the enemy tries really hard to keep us wondering… what does God think of our perfect-post cover ups? What happens when His perfect gaze pierces the mountain of our imperfect lives? What happens when God looks upon our secrets? I want to point something out before we go any further.
It is so important that we understand that secrets simply do not exist with God. And I suspect, if they did, it would take far more than a smile and a clever post to cover up something that made His Son bleed. But that is the whole point. Something bleeds on an altar, right? One of an altar’s great purposes is that something pays the price so that something else will not have to. So, if the enemy has you wondering what God sees when he looks at your secrets: Yes, God sees our secret sins. But more importantly, He sees an altar. He sees where His Son bled. In other words, secret sins are no match for the known graces applied to the altar of God. If death could not defeat the altar of God, then what chance does your secret sin have to overcome it?
When we stand before God, we stand before the great threshold of His Son’s altar. The cross was an altar. You understand that, right? And just in case you’re wondering, altars are not just meant for offerings only. I think this is one of the biggest misunderstandings in our churches regarding our altars. Altars are meant for an exchange. There’s a difference. You see, when we meet God at the altar, we don’t come empty handed. But guess what? Neither does He! This might be old hat to you, but the fresh insight that I feel God placed on my heart is this:
THE ALTAR IS WHERE WE OFFER GOD EVERYTHING WE CAN’T CHANGE FOR EVERYTHING WE DON’T DESERVE.
I love this thought because there is so much in my life that I can’t change that I wish I could. My secret sin, once committed, is done—finished. If tears could take it back, then regrets would be my sails, and sorrows my ocean. But I can’t go, even though I desperately want to. I can’t change it. But that is the beauty of the altar.
I can’t change it, but I can “exchange it!”
Have you ever wondered why Pastors urge folks to come to God at an altar? Because Pastors know that they can’t change you. Your only hope, and the Pastor’s only hope for that matter, is God. And the altar is so often where that exchange takes place.
At the alter, God changes what I can’t change and gifts me with a lighter heart, a forgiven Spirit, and a restored relationship with Him. This is all true, but there’s more!
YOU SEE, AT THE ALTAR, GOD DOES NOT LET SECRETS DEFINE HIS CHILDREN.
Did you hear me? Your secret sins do not define you! Here’s the beauty of it. In the place where secrets don’t exist, not only does the secret die stone cold dead on the altar, so does the sin! It has no power over you any longer! Why? Because secret sin does not get to define what has been covered in the blood of Christ! I hope you’re getting this. Especially if, like me, you have had or have secrets in your life.
So, I have a question for you today. How much does your secret weigh?
If it’s as heavy as mine, then it is trying to define who you are. May I suggest to you the place where secrets don’t exist? The altar of God. It doesn’t matter where you are—your car, home, or the doctor’s office or wherever. It doesn’t matter. Right where you are sitting, or standing, right now, your heart is plenty enough altar for God to make the exchange. He already knows your secret. He has already bled because of it and still He loves you. It’s time to make an exchange! It’s time to offer everything you can’t change for everything you don’t deserve! That is what God is offering you. Just confess it and leave that damnable thing, stone-cold dead on the altar of God. Give your life to Him and He’ll not only forgive you, and cover you in the known graces of His Son, He’ll make sure that secret never defines you again!
Cheers from the inkForge.