Repairing The Altar Comes Before The Revival

1 Kings 18:30 “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.”

Hello readers, just a thought today from God’s word, which is that “repair comes before revival”. Before God ever sent fire from heaven that day at mount Carmel, and before God ever turned the hearts of the men of Israel back to him, we read that Elijah “repaired” the altar of the Lord that was broken down.

The pattern from 1 Kings 18 holds true for us today. We want to see people get saved right? We want people to see that our God is the true God right? We want to impact this world for Jesus Christ right? We want to see our prayers answered right? We want to see God move and work in our times right?

And we call all those things “revival”. “Revival” means “return, recall or recovery to life from death or apparent death”. Could this word be more applicable to our times and to our Christianity? It seems to have been dying a slow death! And revival must first start with the Christians, because you can’t expect the world to turn to Jesus if the Christians will not.

1 Kings 18 gives the pattern for revival in the Bible.

Often I think we really don’t want to see that. It’s easy to talk about revival, but I don’t believe we really want it. I think it’s a case of we don’t have it because we don’t want it rather than we don’t have it because we can’t have it. We would actually rather our broken state than the power of God.

I want to briefly consider the word “repair” mentioned in the verse quoted above. If you don’t know the story, read it for yourself, it’s a wonderful chapter in the Bible. In this chapter there’s a guy named Elijah, he’s a prophet of God in Israel, but Israel is in a mess, and there has been a long drought in the land because of their sin.

By the way, we should take instruction from that, because right here the Bible teaches us that sin is not “sustainable”. Sin brings dry not only our land but, more importantly, to our spiritual lives. Think of how dry it was there at this time, they had been three and a half years with no dew and no rain. That’s dry!

So you can read it for yourself, and about how Elijah called all the people to mount Carmel for a contest. Let’s just see who the real God is! And it can feel a lot like that today. Everyone’s got their own truth these days, so which one is the actual truth? Who is the God of gods?

By the way, Baal has not disappeared, he’s very much still around. So are his prophets. And while we’ve been serving Baal, while we’ve been serving our lust and pride, while we’ve been serving these false imitation Christs, while we’ve been worshipping money and careers and success… the altar that matters has gotten broken down in the process.

Jesus said we cannot serve two masters. And Elijah said how long halt ye between two opinions. So we all have a choice between Baal and God, even today. You cannot have both, if you do have both, Baal will master you… and maybe he already has.

In Christianity today, we see a lot of broken things. There’s a broken Bible. It’s been broken “down”. We reduced God’s word to the word of man. We tried correcting and revising the Bible, but we only broke down what we had. There’s a broken salvation… people who are not saved from their sins. There’s a broken righteousness… people who are self righteous, but do not have the righteousness of Christ.

There’s a broken witness in our community… lives that have no influence, power or care to see others saved. There’s a broken worship… churches that look more like golden calf worship in Exodus than worship in Ezra. There’s a broken spirit in our churches… people who have no heart to serve and obey God, who have given up in the face of the first opposition.

There’s broken prayer in our lives… we do not pray, and when we do, it’s a self centred prayer, it’s a prayer that thinks that God does not hear. Everything seems to be broken, and when something is broken, it’s ruined, destroyed, useless, without purpose, good only for disposal. What about broken homes, broken families, broken marriages, broken hearts, broken promises, broken lives? There’s a lot that’s been broken down over time.

We will not get revival until we repair what has been broken down. So we have to care about what’s broken, see what’s broken, and be willing to address what’s broken. The good thing is, the Bible is not only for showing us what is broken, but it also shows us how to fix what is broken. So repair the altar of the Lord! What’s broken in your walk with God, what do you need to fix by God’s grace?

The altar of the Lord in this chapter was not in working order. And maybe your life is not in working order, it’s not fit for purpose, God cannot use you, he will not bless you, because things are broken which must be repaired. What is it for you?

You have nothing to offer God if the altar of the Lord is broken down in your life. That’s how serious it is. Because altars were where people offered to God, and worshipped, served and fellowshipped with him. How can you offer you life upon something that is broken down? And so we need to get our idea of Christ right. We need to get who he is and what he requires of us from the Bible. We need to do things his way, the way he has said. You can’t just do Christianity however you see fit… that’s broken Christianity!

We are often guilty of presuming upon and provoking God with our lives. Then we wonder what is wrong. Meanwhile everything is broken in our lives, we’ve got the foundation entirely wrong, yet we try to serve God upon the basis of lies and self directed worship and service. Before offering anything to God, Elijah had to fix the altar itself. What might that look like for you? Well, getting back to the King James Bible. Getting back to the common salvation and the faith once delivered unto the saints. Getting things back in order in our lives, reading our Bible, praying, living holy and clean lives, witnessing to others, putting Christ first in our decision making, loving others and particularly fellow Christians.

I don’t know how your altar got broken down, but we all have a broken down altar in our lives. Maybe it is lack of use, often lack of use is why things break down over time. When they’re not used, then you don’t know or care for the state of it. Maybe your Christian life has a lot of cobwebs. Maybe you haven’t been careful to maintain the altar, maybe the landmarks have been slowly moved in your life. What was wrong years ago isn’t so wrong to you anymore.

I don’t know, but what I do know is that if your life is spiritually dry, if you are in a drought, if you are sick and tired of serving Baal, you can read the Bible and you can start putting things back together that been degraded and destroyed in your life. Wouldn’t you rather a life which God can bless and work through? A Christian life spent in the world and on the world isn’t a very fun life… because you don’t have the best of the Christian life or of the world. Halting between two is the worst place to be for a Christian. So what are you caught between? Two minds? Two lives? How many of us lead a double life! Like we compartmentalize our Christian life from our “real” life.

Let’s be clear, if the altar of the Lord in your life is broken down, you have nothing to offer God, and there will be no power of God in your life. We often want a revival without repairing… because we want God to bless us without addressing what’s wrong, what’s against God, what’s broken in our living, thinking, speaking and doing. So lets do a little self judging before we judge anyone else. There seems to be so much broken in Christianity today, and the altar of the Lord is a shambles, it’s been left to ruin while we’ve busily been serving Baal. How much kissing of Baal’s feet have you been doing? So please think about this verse, I am, and let’s repair what needs to be repaired so we can, by God’s grace, get our lives back into working order so God can and will bless us and use us in this dark world for his glory.

I should have defined the term “repair” earlier, but it means “To restore to a sound or good state after decay, injury, dilapidation or partial destruction”. That’s what we need to do beginning with the altar of our heart. Let’s run some self diagnostics, let’s recognize what isn’t working and why it’s not working, let’s use the Bible to figure out where the problem is, and let’s do something about it. You weren’t saved to live a destroyed, defunct and debased life, you were saved to be set free from sin to follow Christ, so let’s live according to the purpose that Christ has for our lives, and let’s see some personal revival which then reaches out to our sphere of influence in the lives of those around us, to his glory, Amen.


Joseph View All →

Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 32 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – :)

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