How seriously do I take distractions from my worship of God? Do they really matter?
Jesus took distractions from worship seriously. We know this from reading Matthew 21:12-13. “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.’”
What were they robbing? They were robbing the Gentiles of their dedicated place of worship and prayer in the outer courts of the temple. He had made it clear that this was an unacceptable practice three years prior (John 2:14-16), but their businesses, even under the guise of being religious, were inhibiting worship.
Their priority was the monetary gain of worldly business. Jesus’ priority was the soulful gain of anyone who would choose to come and worship the Father there.
While we don’t sell doves and exchange currency in churches these days, we do often have things in our lives and churches that inhibit ourselves, and others around us, from worshiping the Lord. We have tables, so to speak, that desperately need to be flipped.
We need to get rid of anything that weighs us down, distracts us, clutters our minds, or holds us back in any way. We need to remember and diligently fulfill the prerequisites for being true worshipers of the Most High God, such as “clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-5), instead of believing that going through the religious motions is enough.
This isn’t because God wants to add to our “to do” list but because He is wholly deserving and worthy of all of our strivings to have a worshiper’s devoted heart.
After all, we are now the temple.
“Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
(1 Corinthians 3:16).
Just as Jesus cleaned out the temple so nothing would hinder the worship there, is there anything in me I need to allow Him to clean out or flip over that’s inhibiting my worship? That’s a question I need to be asking regularly.
*Sections of this post are excerpts from my book, Worship and the Word.
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