Gen 12:8b, 13:4 "...there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord...in the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord."
Abram was just given an amazing promise, that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him and that his descendants would be given the land of Canaan. After these promises were given, what did Abram do? He built and altar and worshipped.
What is the significance of an altar? It was a place of remembrance. It was a place of importance. It represented a place where God was at work. Abram built an altar and went back to that altar to remember what God had promised him, to remember when God had spoken to him directly.
I know that there are times when God works in amazing ways in my life. There are times when He speaks to me so clearly that I can't ignore what He is saying. And these times and places are life altering. Kind of weird…life altering…an altar. These are times that I need to establish an altar in my life. Not necessarily a physical structure (although that could be done), but a place that I can go back to in order to remember what God did and what God wanted and how God directed. I have several of these. When God called me to be a lawyer is so clear to me. I constantly go back to the altar of Is. 50:4 to recall why God has me where He has me. I also have altars of Matt 6:33 and Ecc 9:9. These verses are huge in my life. They were pivotal in how God was working and I constantly go back to these altars and I praise Him for His direction.
I also look at what Abram did at those altars. He "called on the name of the Lord." This call was a "cry out" it was a "recitation" it was a "proclamation". It was an acknowledgement of who God was. It was a confession of Abram's dependence. It was a remembrance of what God had done in His life. It was worship.
I am not sure that I go there enough. Sure, I do this at church. Yes, I talk to God every day. But to just bow in His presence and say: "God…You are Ruler, You are Sustainer, You are Controller, You are Lord, You are Sovereign, You are Director, You are Mover, You have worked in my life and I just want to shout out my gratitude and call on You…thank You." This needs to be done. I need to go back to my altars and praise God for who He is, what He has done and how He has worked. And not only that, but God was not done with Abram. He continued to direct in his life and God will continue to work in mine.
I need to watch for more altars to build.