Abraham’s life was characterized by these two things: he built an altar, and he lived in a tent. Whenever God appeared to him, he didn’t GO and do something immediately: he simply built an altar, consecrating himself to God, putting everything he is and was and had on the altar. This is actually what God desires: He appears to us so that we would just give ourselves to Him fully, for His purpose. Also, Abraham dwelt in a tent – he didn’t built a city, but he was ready to move wherever the Lord called him to move: his country and citizenship was not of this world – he was looking for another country, the heavenly one!
The real worship of God and the real service of God is not us doing something for Him – but it is God appearing to us, infusing us with His heart’s desire and His purpose, and we simply building an altar and offering all we are and have on the altar; and the life we live here will be in a tent, ready to be uprooted and moved at any time, for His interest. Before we do anything for God, God wants us to consecrate ourselves to Him, offer all to Him on the altar. Some things will stay on the altar and burn, and some things God will allow us to use for His purpose. What passes through the altar and remains, we need to use in the tent – in our travelling and sojourning for His purpose. After we firstly take care of worshipping God and having a close fellowship with Him, we live our life in a tent – as a testimony to everyone around us that we do not belong to this world but expect a better country, the New Jerusalem! The primary matter we take care of is our fellowship with Him, spending time with Him and allowing Him to transfuse Himself into us; then, we take care of our living and our needs – having such a vision of the altar.
Our reaction to the heavenly appearing is firstly that we believe – we have faith. In faith in the unseen God, we build an altar and we live in a tent, not becoming set, settled or occupied in this world, but available for the God of glory in His economy. Our whole life is a burnt-offering, wholly offered to God – ourselves, what we have, what we can do, everything is on the altar. If God sees it fit to take things away, we are just one with Him and let go of things. What we are and what we have is not actually ours – God gives these things to us for us to use for His purpose. We are in His plan, in His economy. This is our Christian life – a life of the altar(resulting of Him appearing to us repeatedly) and the tent(we are sojourners in the world, citizens of the heavenly country).