45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”—Luke 19
Last night I was lying in bed unable to go to sleep. My restless mind was turned to prayer, and in the midst of my prayer I began to confess all the noise and clutter I had allowed into my heart recently. This confession brought to mind the passage above. I was thinking of my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit and how often I allow the hustle and bustle of daily activities to crowd into the outer courts of my heart.
Everything has its proper place. The moneychangers and animal vendors were a necessary part of the sacrificial system of the Temple worship. The problem was not their presence but their priority. They had taken over a part of the Temple that was meant for prayer. There are good and necessary duties in my life that constitute an important part of what it means to live as a Christian. But they must be relegated to their proper place. At the same time, there are hucksters and conmen that sneak in among them. They must be kicked to the curb.
How many times has prayer been crowded out by the noise of my life? It was right for Jesus to do what He did. And I can take a lesson from His actions. Last night I realized that when life crowds in to the extent that prayer gets pushed out, I must take up the whip and drive those things back to their proper place.