While Ahab was King, the prophet Elijah prayed that God would bring judgment on Israel that would lead to repentance. This culminated in a showdown between two altars. The first: the altar of God. The second: the altar of Baal. Many Israelites prayed, wept, pleaded, and offered the sacrifice on the altar of Baal. But, there was no answer. Finally, God’s fire came down on his own altar.
This story signifies Christians whose prayers are never answered. They weep, plead, beat themselves up, and pray, but God doesn’t answer. Why? Because they’re at the altar of Baal. Baal’s altar can appear religious or non-religious, but it can always be identified by 1) selfish motives, 2) lack of sacrifice, and 3) a victim mentality. For example, you may pray that God will send you the fullness of the Holy Spirit. But, you’re unwilling to adjust your schedule to consistently be in church and at prayer meetings. Or, you’re asking for a selfish motive. Perhaps you think you will be happy, or God will improve your life, or you will be respected.
Many Christians today are worshiping at Baal’s altar, and not God’s. Are you one of them?