In most churches there is a time for congregants to gather at the altar for a time of prayer. Usually in response to a message people will voluntarily come forward to receive a blessing, a touch from God or simply to consecrate themselves either for the first time as a new believer or for some a deeper walk with the Lord.
An altar junkie would be a person who ceases every opportunity to spend time with the Lord at the altar. They are like the Sparrow who finds a home; the Swallow who builds a nest at the altar of the Lord and raises its young right there. Like those who dwell in His house ever singing his praise. They are like doorkeepers/gatekeepers in the house of the Lord. They understand that “better is one day at the altar than a thousand elsewhere.”
Unfortunately, there is a misconception among many believers about spending time at the alter. In some places, altar time in is widely and only seen as a place for sinners to come for forgiveness. Their attitude to any invitation is standoff-ish, dismissive, either because, they don’t want others to think less of us.
A father asked his young daughter if she would like to go up to the altar with him for prayer and the little 5 years old blotted out, “but dad I’ve been a good girl all week, I don’t want to go to the altar.” In many ways, our attitude about altar time reflects that of this little 5 year old girl – and it needs to change.
Now, I am not advocating that God only moves or can only touch you at an altar or during an altar call. I am neither making a doctrinal argument about Altars. For me, a great place to start would be our hearts, our bodies, our lives – a place where we offer ourselves unto God as living Living sacrifices, holy and pleasing.
My point is, if we like the idea of an altar time, we must develop a proper attitude about. Stop seeing it as only a place for sinful people. See it as a place to meet with God for whatever reason.
To go deeper.
To intercede for others.
I feel bad to put the blame on Church leaders, but in many ways we’ve contributed to the problem. Too many of our altar calls usually come after a blistering message about sin. Of Course there is a place for that.
The gospel is not for sinners alone. It’s for dead people; many of whom are saints.
It really shouldn’t matter what a person is going for, what matters is that they are drawing near to God. What really matters is that they are hungry for more of God. What really matters is that they are chasing after Him.
So, next time you there is an opportunity to respond to an altar call, step out and go seek God – sin or no sin. Be an altar junkie!