That fine day witnessed a sudden unexpected turn of events. Although they were totally unaware of what they had become, He saw it before they could.
The day I write about depicts Jesus going into the temple, and with all the passion inside Him, turning tables upside down, leaving those who saw what had happened in a pitiful predicament. When had the people taken such a wrong turn? How had they missed the mark?
Let's think carefully about this. I dare say that it was never an over-night thing for the temple to become a market place. Rather, think of it as an excruciatingly slow (gradual) process. The first person to sell something within the temple grounds must have secretly spoken to someone else, inviting him or her to buy a precious item. After fire and brimstone did not come down from heaven to devour the seller, this person would have continued to sell in secret, luring anyone who cared to listen...taking them away from the messages of the pulpit and enticing them with the distractions of material possessions. Slowly, it probably became a clique, a "we-sell-good-things" group. A "come-and-buy-from-us-and-God-will-bless-you" kind of group. An "I-don't-think-this-is-a-sin" clique.
An unconscious compromise.
This might be a hard message, but it is a good one! It's a small message, but it resounds a priceless life-changing principle. This message is deeply embedded in the critical need for the constant presence of the Holy Spirit in our "daily" lives.
In our generation today, our ears are slowly becoming desensitized to the voice of the Holy Spirit. While preaching on Sunday, my pastor asked a question that made me laugh, "How ridiculous do you think the disciples felt when Jesus said, "it is to your advantage that I go away because if I don't the Helper will not come"? (paraphrased). They must have felt so let down. How could they have left everything they had to follow Jesus only to hear that "it was to their advantage" that He was leaving them? Say what? How does that even make any sense? How was that supposed to be an "advantage"?
If Jesus never left, the Holy Spirit would have never come. It was to our advantage that He left, so that the Holy Spirit can come and dwell inside our hearts.
A desensitization to the voice of the Holy Spirit is never a one-day turn-around. It is a painful gradual process where we constantly choose the world over the Spirit of God. We tell ourselves, "it's okay to do this," and "it's okay to do that." Until one day, we don't know the truth anymore because our ears no longer listen.
This week, I am inspired to remind myself and anyone who will read this to reflect on any unconscious compromises made both in the past and now which, albeit unknowingly, has pushed us further away from being "intimate" with God.
Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of your wings."
Psalm 91:1 "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
To dwell in that secret place requires us to "hear" from God. It requires a desire to always be led in the direction of the Holy Spirit. If that daily desire is not there, it will become a case of an unconscious compromise where one day we will wake up in the morning and ask ourselves, "Where am I? What have I done? I don't feel His presence in my life anymore."
The sweet warm embrace of the Father is where we belong. It's the best place to be. It's a place where we can easily hear the voice of the Holy Spirit teaching us right from wrong, and encouraging us to take the right steps. The Psalmist was very conscious of this when he cried out, "Hide me under the shadow of your wings." That's where I want to be...always and forever. Dear Holy Spirit, we invite You into every aspect of our lives today. Hide us under the shadow of your wings and cause our ears to be highly sensitized to hear Your voice daily, in Jesus' Name. Amen. I'd love to hear from you. Have you made a daily decision to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit? How do you do this? I pray that you will be inspired to do so and more, and that you will see the blessings that come from Him because of this.