And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Most of us have a room, a drawer, or some other place in our home that tends to collect junk. When we don’t know where to put something, that’s where it goes. When we’re cleaning up another area, it is the dumping ground for everything that doesn’t have another place to go. And if we aren’t careful, we can end up with an out-of-control mess. In order to keep our homes clean, we must be dilligent to keep things in their proper places.
The same is true spiritually. In the midst of day-to-day life, it can be easy to let bad habits build up or to neglect important areas of our relationship with God. The cares of this world can invade our temple, corrupting a place that was supposed to remain holy. In some cases, it may be necessary for Jesus to cleanse us just as He cleansed the temple of merchants and animals. It may even be a painful process, but the end result will be worth it.
A big mess can be daunting. We don’t know where to start or how to tackle such an overwhelming situation. The first step is to throw things away. Instead of moving useless things from one place to another, the best thing to do is just get rid of them. If the Holy Spirit reveals sin in our lives, it is best to deal with it right away so it doesn’t get out of control. If there is something in our lives that takes time away from God or is hindering us or someone else spiritually, we should seriously consider throwing it away. Cleaning up little messes keeps them from becoming big messes.
Secondly, we should have a plan. It’s easier to keep our homes clean if we have a routine or a set schedule, and it is something we have to make time for. In the same way, we have to make time to spend with God in His Word, in prayer, and in worship. Setting aside a specific time each day will make it easier to follow through with our commitment.
Finally, there is maintenence. Once we get our house clean, we should try to keep it that way by dealing with each little mess as it comes. There is no room for laziness if we want to keep everything clean. Spritually, we go to God each day and seek forgiveness to keep our hearts and lives pure. Our bodies are the temples of God, so let’s be diligent about keeping them clean, keeping in mind that if we don’t do our part, we may need the scourge of Jesus to cleanse us. If we are mindful of the holy occupant within our hearts, we are more likely to keep his dwelling place clean, a temple fit for our Savior.