I was hit with something the other night: I am God’s temple.
For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16, NETBible)
OK, so I knew that – I had heard it said in conjunction with keeping my body pure. But I had never thought through the implications before.
I think there are probably way more implications than my feeble brain can process, but a few are:
- I can worship anywhere in any way, rather than going to a temple, seeing a priest, etc.
- I can offer myself as a living sacrifice (rather than constantly offering pure animals) so that I can know God’s will for my life (Romans 12-please read! :))
- I am a house of prayer.
That last one really hit me – I had never connected the temple with prayer. I’m not sure why, but I always associated the temple with sacrifices and teachings.
Remember how Jesus found the temple area transformed into an ad hoc flea market? Just before this, according to Luke 19, Jesus made his prophesied entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, knowing his sacrifice was swiftly approaching, and then wept that Jerusalem would one day be destroyed.
“Then Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those who were selling and buying in the temple courts, and turned over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. And he said to them, “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are turning it into a den of robbers!'” (Matthew 21:12 – 13, NETBible)
In that last verse, Jesus is quoting this:
I will make them happy in the temple where people pray to me.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar,
for my temple will be known as a temple where all nations may pray.” (Isaiah 56:7, NETBible)
Am I a “house of prayer”? More often, I feel like a flea market. I’m buying, selling, scoping out for the next good deal, bargaining with people to get the price lower, calculating how much we can save and how much we’re spending, thinking of the next “spending goal”.
What about how much I’m “spending” in prayer? How much I’m “saving” via prayer? How about using my eagle eye for a deal as a way to discern who and what to pray for?
Maybe I should quit robbing God of his house of prayer and instead allow prayer to connect me further to Him.