Life Altering Altars: Perception

There are times in your faith journey when you experience seasons of uncertainty and discouragement.  You seek direction in prayer, but the silence is deafening, and the pathway ahead seems very dark.  Times such as this may be a hiatus, an in-between transitional time moving from how God has been working to a new and very different way forward.  Psalm 46:10a describes a time of sobering reflection that leads you to cease the “tyranny of the urgent.”  But remaining consistent in the Word of God is crucial.  What you find there may be the stones that you set in place for the formation of an altering experience that will become the foundation for a new perspective on how God’s purposes in your life will surface.

We see in Genesis 15:1-6, God reminded Abram of the promise to be fulfilled through him.  This remained incomprehensible to Abram, yet he continued to trust God.  But in verse 8 Abram asked for a little more information to go along with the previous confirmation.  In response, the Lord had him prepare a slain flesh and blood sacrifice.  He was to make a path between two halves of the slain animals.  While Abram was doing this, vultures descend on the dead carcasses, and he had to fight the off. (Here, as many times in Scripture, birds may be used to represent the activity of Satan.)  Then a deep sleep fell upon Abram while God Himself walked between the carcasses and secured the blood covenant.  (Usually this covenant was between two people who agree that what has happened to these animals will happen to the one who fails to keep the terms of their covenant).  With Abram, God assumed the entire commitment to Himself.  Today, we are recipients of the full and once-and-for-all sacrifice, the shed blood of Christ.  Once again, in verses 13-15, God reiterated His promise to Abram.

We begin to understand God’s secret place is in the darkness (Psalm 18:11), and it is there that He sovereignly and mysteriously works out His purposes for us, in His way and in His time.  As with Abram, God’s promises for us are as manifold as the stars in the heavens and as numerous as the sands in the sea.  But the channel through which these flow is through the blood of a sacrifice, and often through a pathway of darkness and a battle with the forces of evil.  Our God will ultimately fulfill every dimension of His purposes for us (Psalm 138:8; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6), but along the way He adjusts our perception to acclimate and accommodate those purposes.