Sacrificing on the Altar


The Christian life is a life of sacrifice. Instead of sacrificing animals, we are called to sacrifice our very selves.

Sacrificing on the Altar

When Jesus came to live out His life on earth, the Word became flesh. He was the eternal Word of God manifested and made visible in the form of flesh. When the Word came to indwell us, He began a work of renewal, transforming our human flesh to become the lived out Word. Once the Word was made flesh. Now, our flesh is being made the Word. We are not the messengers. We are the message. He is manifesting His message in our lives.

A person without the indwelling Spirit of Jesus is all flesh. The person in whom Jesus has housed Himself and taken up residence, has pockets of flesh still active. Like sleeper cells, they are activated by certain cues from the outside, but until activated, flesh might stay hidden. Hidden or disguised flesh is wreaking havoc inside like undetected cancer cells—free to destroy unchallenged.

The impulse of our flesh is to try harder, manage more, enforce our will more stringently, maneuver and massage and finesse until we get everyone and everything straightened out and marching to our beat. Some people’s flesh comes on strong in a frontal assault. They use intimidation and demanding to try to line things up. Others do the manipulating from a stealth position, relying on their wiles and ability to play on either fears or emotions to get things lined up.It doesn’t matter. Both patterns are equally deft at bringing all the death-bearing aspects of flesh into the situation. Whether dressed up to be sweet and winsome, or revealed as overbearing and forceful, flesh is flesh is flesh.

Flesh is sin’s ground zero. Flesh is the platform from which sin is launched. In flesh, sin finds a welcoming environment where it can root and flourish. Sin is an active component that is fueled by flesh. However I describe it, it means the same thing. Flesh and sin work in tandem. Flesh expresses itself through sin. So, if we want to understand flesh, then we have to bring sin into focus.

The noun “altar” is usually understood as a place of worshipful offering. Something of value is offered up and released on the altar. The one who offers relinquishes ownership and yields control to Another—a Power beyond. Let’s see what happens when we turn the noun altar into a verb. Altar our fear, our failure, our possessiveness, our need to control . . . all those things that hold us captive and keep us from running the race at full throttle. Live in an altar’d state--surrendered, yielded, free. Not offering sacrifice to appease a god who is vengeful; or to placate a god who is withholding; or to win the approval of a god who is angry. Live in an altar’d state to cooperate with the God who is committed to seeing you free of the toxic flesh that works against your freedom. Let the altar do its work in you, transforming fear to faith, worry to worship.

This content taken from the book Altar’d by Jennifer Kennedy Dean.

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