Matthew 21:12-17, 1 Corinthians 6:19

Sean Smith
Sean Smith

Over the years as a youth worker, I must have had hundreds of young people lounging about my house. To me it is part of building trust, relationships and memories with the young people which will help them to realise that they are important to us as their leaders and to show them that God is interested in them. Our home never came out too good after a visit from them, but it is part of the reason we believe that God gave us our home in the first place. Our home is for living in, entertaining, caring for our family, friends and the people God has given us to serve.

The right place

Matthew 21:13 '"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.'"'

Can you imagine walking into your home and finding a bunch of yobs causing havoc and disrespecting your home...what would your reaction be? You see, the fact that they were in the temple trading was not unusual, especially during the Passover, as people would be traveling great distances to come and worship and present their offerings at the temple in Jerusalem. All the traders were ripping people off with their prices and exchange rates, however the problem wasn't that they were in the wrong place in fact it was quite the opposite.

The temple was the place that God met with the priest. Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has in a way "moved home." He no longer chooses to rest in one place or even a building. That's not to say that He doesn't choose to do that still, but as we read in 1 Corinthians 6:19:

'Do you not know that your body is a house of God where the Holy Spirit lives? God gave you His Holy Spirit. Now you belong to God. You do not belong to yourselves.'

God through His Holy Spirit chooses to live now in His people, so we can always be in the right place as we stay close to Him.

The Wrong purpose

The people were in the right place but they were there for the wrong purpose.

There is a saying in churches that there is 10% of the church doing 90% of the work, why is that? It isn't a problem that the people are in the wrong place physically, because they are in church and that's a start. Maybe the problem is that they are there but either haven't found or aren't looking for the purpose God has for them.

I recently had to take up the slate floor in my kitchen because there were some loose tiles. I set about cleaning and getting the floor ready to relay the ones that hadn't cracked and some new ones to replace the ones that had. Then I started to lay them and did a really good job for my first attempt. The adhesive said to allow 24 hours for it to set before walking on the floor. The following day we carefully checked the floor and it was still wet, 48 hours later it was still wet, 60 hours it was still wet and at 72 hours my wife stood on a tile and the whole tile slid from under her foot! I had used an adhesive that wasn't fit for the purpose, with that, I learnt a valuable lesson. You can have the tools to do a job but if they aren't the correct ones it's pointless.

So what's the point I'm trying to get across? Well, it is easy to be in the right place with God, the principles haven't changed for thousands of years, but having the right purpose for where you are is trickier. Only out of a closeness with God can you find your purpose. I was having a chat with a couple of friends last week and we were talking about happiness and what is meant by being happy, the conclusion we came to is this.
To achieve happiness you need to be fulfilling Gods purpose. This involves, being in the right place and knowing and doing Gods plan for your life.

Have you asked God for His purpose for your life? Try it, you may be surprised how exciting (not necessarily easier!) your life becomes. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.