19 January 2016
Occupation must follow Redemption
Jesus entered the temple area and forcibly threw out all the merchants from their stalls. He rebuked them, saying, "The scriptures declare, 'My Father's house is to be filled with prayer--a house of prayer, not a cave of bandits!'" From then on Jesus continued teaching in the temple area, but all the while, the high priests, the experts of the law, and the prominent men of the city kept trying to find a way to accuse Jesus, for they wanted him dead. They could find no reason to accuse him, for he was a hero to the people and the crowds were awestruck by every word he spoke. ~Luke 19:45-46
Jesus stayed in the cleansed temple, teaching. He came to the temple, conquered and occupied it in open defiance of the social and religious forces in Jerusalem.
This is a powerful example of what happens in the spirit, within us. We cannot cleanse our hearts and then leave them empty (Matt 12:44) and yet expect to have lasting change. We also can't invite Jesus in to clean house for us, expecting to maintain the change He effected in our own strength. We have to welcome Him into our hearts, allow His presence to cleanse us down to the very bottom of our souls, nothing held back, and then always welcome Him, fellowshipping and communing with Him, allowing Him to teach us so we can be changed forever, transformed into the image of God (Romans 12:2). (Man, I love it when passages I journal about build on and relate to other passages I've learned. Makes me all kinds of giddy. lol) It's not enough to reject the false, the things that work against God in us. We MUST seek Jesus, who is the Truth, and let Him fill us, constantly.
Jesus, thank You for filling me, for teaching me, for fellowshipping and communing with me. I praise You for the miraculous work of redemption You completed, the price paid in full, and look forward to enriching and deepening my relationship with You forevermore. Keep on peeling back the onion layers, keep on teaching me who You are, how You see things, and how to love more and more. Give me patience with myself, Lord, and open my eyes to recognize where you're setting me free in each area of my life. Thank You for using me in Your work, in whatever ways You see fit, and please, oh please, guide me in who You would have me be, and how You would have me be, each day, each hour, each moment. In Your dear name, Amen.