Mental Memorial Altars

A way to keep from having to re-prove the things of God over and over.

Have you ever felt like you were regressing in your beliefs?  For example, have you had occasional thoughts of, "Maybe there is no God"?  You may be just fine in your relationship with HIm for a long time and then, all of a sudden, because of something that happens you begin to wonder if you've been tricked, duped, and fooled and that there really is no God.

That thought may persist for a while until He proves Himself to you and then all is good again, for a time.  Then that thought pops up again later.  It used to happen to me over and over.

Each time that would happen I would begin to ask God to reveal Himself to me.  I would look for signs that He was real.  I would keep searching until I was satisfied.  I got the proof I needed.  I did that over and over!

My brain doesn't hang on to a lot of things.  It hangs on to conclusions and ideas and drops the facts.  I had a hard time in history class in school.  I knew the concepts but they expected me to remember the dates and names of people and places.  It was that same way with my belief in God being real.  I would no longer remember the facts that helped me to draw the conclusion that God was real.

It got to a point where I couldn't advance in my spiritual walk because I was being held back by doubts.  I couldn't wholeheartedly witness to a person when I didn't believe 100% that God was real.  I couldn't move forward to hearing His voice speak to me if I thought there was a chance He didn't exist.

It finally occurred to me that I needed to put an end to my doubting.  I could have kept a  list of the ways I knew God to be real, but I would have had to read them again and again because I would have needed to be ready whenever God brought someone to me that needed me to tell them about Him.   I would have had  to keep them with me all the time.  That didn't seem like a good solution.

I knew it was my brain that had the problem.  I also knew that satan needed to find ways to keep Christians from being effective.  He would certainly try to put thoughts doubting God into my mind.  I needed to do something to fill in the holes that he was using to enter into my brain.

 "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Ephesians 6:16

So, I needed to figure out a way to convince my brain that it didn't need to keep coming up with new facts that proved God existed.   Like the above scripture says I needed the shield of faith to quench those fiery darts.

What is faith?   A few of the definitions from the dictionary are:
Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.
Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence.

A definition from the Bible is:
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Hebrews 1:1

I realized that what I had to do was to fix it once and for all so I wouldn't go backwards past a certain milestone.  I did a final examination looking for proof that God was real.  I gathered the evidence and, while it was still fresh in my mind, I made a decision.  I examined the evidence I had gathered and decided that it was very good and rock solid evidence.  Then I made a kind of mental memorial altar. I took the facts I had gathered and they were the stones.  I piled them on top of each other like in the Old Testament when they would make a pile of stones where something memorable happened. They would name the place after what happened. Then, each time they came back by that pile of stones they would remember what had happened there.  (I put examples of those scriptures at the end of this article.)

So, I did that in my mind. I focused on the fact that I had determined it to be truth that God is real.  I guess I named that altar "God is Real!"  Then I never re-visited that question. When a doubt would poke at my mind I knew it was the enemy trying to give me grief. I would push it away without even having to think about it.  I knew that I knew that I knew God was real.  I chose to never prove that fact again.

Was it easy at first?  No.  My logical mind wanted to prove it all over again just to be sure.  I had to mentally view that memorial altar in my mind and just remember the conclusion I had drawn rather than trying in vain to remember how I came to that conclusion.

That was my shield of faith.  I didn't have to examine the shield any more to see if it was good enough.  I just had to hold it up so I could move on.  I've done that same thing again with other spiritual issues.  I found that, as I was able to get past proving those things over and over, I could move on to the next step.

There have been many times when that process has come in very handy.  Off and on I go through desert seasons when I feel like I can't hear God's voice and when I feel like He isn't guiding me.  I never go farther back than the previous mental memorial altar.  I just lean against it in blind faith knowing that it is there and that it is there with purpose and for a good reason.



"And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of the tribes of the children of Israel:  that this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones?
Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.
And the children of Israel did so as Joshua commanded, and took up twelve stones out of the midst of Jordan, as the LORD spake unto Joshua, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, and carried them over with them unto the place where they lodged, and laid them down there.
And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of the covenant stood: and they are there unto this day."

Joshua 4:5-9

"So Jacob came to Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, that is, Bethel, he and all the people that were with him.   And he built there an altar, and called the place El-beth-el*: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother."
Genesis 35:6-7

"And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi**:  for he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation."
Exodus 17:15-16


*God of Bethel  (Bethel means House of God)
 **God My Banner


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