lundi 6 février 2012

Don't Make Jesus Mad in Your Life!

I am just thinking out loud, so bare with me if it goes against your theology!
<And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but you have made it a den of thieves."> - Mark 11:15-18
This biblical narrative is repeated in all the four gospels. I suspect that the Holy Spirit really wanted the readers to firmly grasp the moral and the meaning of what happened that day in Jerusalem. A very unusual day in the earthly ministry of Jesus. The only time Jesus showed such violent tendency. What really
happened in Him that made Him so angry?

I am not good in making up stories and theories, so i'll just be straight with you - I don't know. But i have a strong suspicion though, so i'll share with you that and please, take it with a lot of reservation.

The story at the temple in Jerusalem represent something deeply spiritual. God had establish the temple as a place where He resided with men and by that He gave men the opportunity to have access to His person. Can you believe that? Free access to His presence. And people - priests, teachers of the divine law-
forgot who was really in that temple and allowed other activities to occur at the temple, making people to forget the real purpose of the temple, the house of God. Thus when Jesus came to the temple in Jerusalem, He reminded them that the Lord's house would not be called a house of religious activities, nor a house of
preaching but a house of PRAYER! Yeah, you got it! Prayer was the ultimate purpose of the temple. In the Gospel of John in chapter 2, Jesus informed prophetically that His body was the temple of God. And twice in 1Corinthians, the apostle Paul informed the Christians that their bodies are God's temple and that the Holy Spirit abode in them.

I guess the privilege to have God in our midst or in us can only be sabotaged by the fact that we do not realize it - and the best way we waste the opportunity of having God with us is by not praying. If God avail Himself with such unlimited 'audience' to us and that we find way not to make use of this opportunity to approach Him must certainly make Him mad! A bit like the King in the parable of Jesus in Mathew (the wedding banquet) who invited nobles to His Son's wedding to only realize that they were all busy not to come in His presence. (Math 22:1-7).

Since our bodies are God's temple, may we remember that the house of the Lord shall be called a house of prayer! Prayer is what allow God to act on our behalf. Matter of fact there seems as if they are three person living in each of us: the one we think we are, the one other people think we are and the one God knows we are. And as we pray, we allow to an extend God to show us to see our lives as He sees it and that really makes a difference in ones life as he sets his priorities and organize his life afterward. People who prays invariably see their life changing as they stop living in their own made illusion or on a collective illusion dictated by the surrounding society.

It seems to me that the old folks got it right at time when they said that revival (personal or corporate) are delayed because we lack urgency in prayer.
"When a couple of struggling salvation Army officers wrote to William Booth telling him they tried every way to get a move [of God] and failed, he sent this terse reply, 'Try tears!' They did. And they had revival." - Leonard Ravenhill (Why Revival Tarries - Page 53)
It is interesting to realize that we all know that deep in us but for some reasons we do not make the appropriate change in our priorities with regards to prayer, even though we still -rightly so- believe that we are the temple of God. Even an fundamentalist evagelical, non-pentecotist had noticed that and made
this comment:
"Year ago a minister put this sign outside of his church, 'This church will have either a revival or a funeral!' With such despair God is well pleased, though hell is despondent. Madness, you say? Exactly! A sober church never does any good. At this hour we need men drunk with the Holy Ghost. Has God excelled Himself? Were Wesley, Whitefield, Finney, Hudson Taylor special editions of ministers? Never! If i read the book of Acts aright, they were just the norm." - Leonard Ravenhill (Why Revival Tarries - Page 49).
We are amaze by the life of those who came before us but we dare not try do what they did in order to become what they became. How many of us wants to be like Elijah who made a whole kingdom kneel down because he, himself, learned first to kneel before God?

"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."

If you are asking, where is the God of Elijah? well, James Gilmour of Mongolia suggest an answer which i found quite compelling: "Where is the Lord God of Elijah? He is waiting for Elijah to call Him."

Remember, remember ... "My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer"!

Have a prosperous week and a prayerful life in Jesus name.

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