Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, I will give this land to your posterity. So Abram built an altar there to the Lord, Who had appeared to him. -Genesis 12:7
There are numerous times in the Bible when man built altars to God after having an encounter with Him. Noah built an altar in Genesis 8 after the floods subsided. Moses built altars, as did his brother Aaron, and his apprentice Joshua. Altars became a physical, tangible memorial showing that not only had God moved in their lives in incredible ways, but they also wanted to consecrate themselves fully to God.
Altars served as reminders to the people of what God had done in their lives. We don’t practice building altars today and many times the awe-inspiring moments of God’s providence dulls with the passing of time. We forget the strength of our thankfulness when He’s provided money for tuition or an overdue bill. We can be quick to grumble and complain instead of offering praise and thanks. We magnify our faults and failures instead of magnifying the beauty, grace, and faithfulness of our God.
Creating physical altars to God is no longer necessary because we have been gifted with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. We are able to have encounters with God every day (no matter how small a way that may be).
One way to remember all the times God has moved in your life is to keep a journal. If you don’t like writing or have the time, making a bullet list on your phone’s Notes app is another great way of keeping track. That way, in times of trials, you can always go back and be reminded that if God moved mountains for you then, He is still able to move them for you in whatever circumstances you find yourself now or in the future.